It isn’t easy to beat the system. William Trosclair, a former UGA student, learned that the hard way on several different occasions. One time, in Fall 2009, his fake ID was confiscated in a liquor store and he was charged with being a minor in possession. The next time, THE POLICE RAIDED THE HOUSE where he and his buddy, Tyler Ruby, were running a fake ID ring.
It could be a Hollywood movie the way the story plays out: poor college kid gets fingered with a bullshit charge, meets a fellow ne’er-do-well at community service (really just a place where people charged with petty crimes get to hang out) and they decide to go in on an illegal business venture.
In the same Hollywood vein, Trosclair even equated himself to Leo’s Frank Abagnale from “Catch Me If You Can.” The two kids started pulling in ridiculous bank, up to $2,500 per week, which they spent the only way a 19-year-old can spend it while pledging a fraternity: on booze and women.
Trosclair would regularly pick up the tab for his whole entourage when they went to the bars, and he would pay covers and give everyone stacks of ones when they went to strip clubs. Some of the girls even offered sexual favors for his ID faking services, which I believe is where the bar is set when it comes to calling yourself a “big man on campus.”
However, in the middle of the second act where the protagonist typically gets a little cocky, Trosclair got really fucking cocky. He took one of his Lambda Chi Alpha brothers to the Masters, where they met a group of pretty, older women who invited them to the bars afterwards. Trosclair confidently strode up to the POLICE OFFICER who was checking IDs and handed him his personal fake. When the cop called bullshit, both men were arrested.
All of this led up to the previously mentioned raid on the ring’s headquarters, Ruby’s house, but the story didn’t end there. The police weren’t positive of Trosclair’s involvement as one of the co-founders of the ID ring, so in the middle of the raid, Trosclair and his little brother asked one of the cops if they could leave. The officer said that it was fine for him to go.
Four weeks later, the cops showed up to his fraternity house with a search warrant for the whole house, and a number of his brothers got fingered with fake IDs and drug charges even though Trosclair didn’t have anything illegal in his dorm.
He left school in January 2012 and began working for his father’s construction company, but returned to school in Fall 2012 to live a normal (read: broke) college life. He got a job at the Sunglass Hut, he started a band, and he lived the typical “clean” life that entire academic year.
“I learned my lesson that year, long before I ever got arrested for this,” he says. “I changed my ways on my own. If the legal system thinks they’re helping me change, no, I did that on my own. The day they raided [Tyler’s] house, I knew.
Just before the Fall 2013 semester started, cops called to inform him that he (and Ruby) had been indicted on 16 felony charges. He initially thought he could beat the charges, but when legal fees started piling up forcing his father to sell his business, Trosclair thew in the towel and spent three months in jail from Oct. 27, 2013, to Jan. 10, 2014.
In jail, Trosclair missed family holidays, and his mother also had major surgery. Despite everything, Trosclair maintains that it was worth it because he got to experience “the best sophomore year a kid could have.”
Nowadays, Trosclair is working on his career as a country singer, and the first song he performed was a cover that he called the “Colwell Prison Blues.” It’s about the detention center where he paid his debt to society.
“I was a stupid 19-year-old kid,” he recalls. “I wanted to make money, ‘cause I didn’t have any. I wanted to be around all these people. I wanted to be able to keep up with them and be able to go downtown and spend money on drinks and stuff like that and not have to worry about where my next meal is coming from. But there’s no excuse for stuff like that.”
Here’s hoping that he can pull it as a country singer. Lord knows he has a lot of songwriting material to work with.
Image via UGA.edu