By Owen Boss and Scott Merzbach, The Daily Hampshire Gazette
Special to the Collegian
A local shopkeeper, charged with using Bill Belichick’s daughter’s credit card to buy more than a thousand dollars of merchandise at stores in Hadley, denied his involvement in court Tuesday.
Mohamed S. Nagooradumai, 39, of 42 Palley Village Place, who owns Amherst Grocery Store at 319 Main St., pleaded innocent in Eastern Hampshire District Court to charges of committing credit card fraud over $250 and receiving stolen property valued over $250.
In December, 25-year-old Amherst resident Amanda Belichick, an assistant coach for the University of Massachusetts women’s lacrosse team and daughter of New England Patriot’s head coach Bill Belichick, went to the local police station to report several unauthorized transactions had been taken from her Bank of America checking account.
The card, she said, had either been lost or stolen, according to police.
A police inquiry revealed that last year, during November and December, unauthorized charges were made on her card at Old Navy, Sears and Walmart in Hadley and at Nagooradumai’s grocery store, according to court documents. The largest transaction, made at Sears, was for a Kenmore washer and dryer set reportedly valued at $616.23.
After obtaining surveillance video from Sears, police identified Nagooradumai and his wife, Zuharia Mohamed, whom they recognized from past dealings, waiting in line just moments before the transaction was made, according to police.
On Tuesday at 11 a.m., police executed a search warrant obtained Monday in Eastern Hampshire District Court at Nagooradumai’s Palley Village Place home and seized a Kenmore washer and dryer set and a variety of clothing as evidence.
Lt. Ron Young, head of the police detective bureau, said the investigation is ongoing and the credit card used in the alleged thefts has not been recovered.
Young said additional charges may be filed against Nagooradumai as the investigation continues.
Judge Laurie MacLeod released Nagooradumai on his own recognizance and ordered him to return to court for a pretrial hearing on May 18.
Amanda Belichick was reach Wednesday but declined to comment. A call to the number listed for Nagooradumai’s residence was not answered Wednesday evening, and a voicemail left there was not immediately returned.
Belichick followed in her father’s academic footsteps attending the same high school and college. After graduating from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass. in 2003, she earned a bachelor’s in 2007 from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. There, during her junior year, she became just the second player in Cardinals history to score over 50 points in a season as an attack before becoming a co-captain in her senior year at Wesleyan, according to the UMass Athletics website.
The Weston, Mass. native joined UMass as an assistant lacrosse coach at the beginning of the Minutewomen’s season after serving as head lacrosse coach at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., for two years, the site said.
Collegian staff writer Matt Rocheleau contributed to this report. He can be reached at [email protected] Owen Boss and Scott Merzbach are Gazette staff writers. They can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]