ATLANTA - Race car driver Andy Lally has spent the better part of the last two decades gunning his way to the top of some of racing's elite circles.
NASCAR named Andy its Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year in 2011 and he won the 24 Hours of Daytona back to back in 2011 and again this past January.
It was at that race the Atlanta-based driver met James Lally for the first time.
Andy says James asked to have his picture taken with the racer. But that very photo in part convinced the children's charity First Tee of St. Pete and others that James Lally was a part of Andy Lally racing.
First Tee's Jillian Barnes says James Lally wrote more than $4,000 in of bad checks at their February fundraiser and we found a half-dozen others who claim they gave Lally hundreds of dollars for non-existent tickets to the Daytona 500.
"Unfortunately, he has the same last name as me and more unfortunately he is using my reputation to do this to people," said Andy Lally, who had no idea James Lally fled Tampa for Atlanta. Police say he created another scheme just 30 minutes from the race car driver's home, one involving the Atlanta Braves.
Atlanta police arrested the 37-year-old earlier this month. The team accused him of writing bad checks to steal more than $80,000 worth of tickets and sell them off to unsuspecting Braves fans.
The Pinellas state attorney's office issued an arrest warrant after the I-Team exposed the charity's allegations against Lally in April. Now he'll have to return to Florida to face a bad check charge for defrauding the charity after he answers to the five felonies in Atlanta.