Articles Tagged with Professional Athletes

Cambridge Capital Group Advisors, its president Phillip Timothy Howard, and previously barred investment adviser Don Warner Reinhard are now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) case accusing them of defrauding 20 investors, the majority of whom are retired National Football League players. Howard, who is also an attorney, represented the NFL retirees in a class action lawsuit over brain injuries they sustained while playing the game.

The investors invested about $4.1M in two proprietary hedge funds, the Cambridge Capital Partners and Cambridge Capital Group Equity Options Opportunities. According to the SEC, even though Howard knew that the former NFL players whom he represented lack proper brain function, employment capacity, credit, or capital, he and Reinhard still allegedly persuaded them to invest in the two funds. The regulator said that more than half of players who invested used their retirement money.

Among the false claims and misrepresentations that the defendants allegedly made while soliciting investors were that:

The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas recently announced that District Court Judge Keith P. Ellison has sentenced former financial adviser Peggy Ann Fulford to 120 months in prison—that’s 10 years. Fulford defrauded a number of professional athletes, including ex-NBA basketball players Dennis Rodman and Travis Best, former Heisman trough winner Ricky Williams, as well as NFL football players Lex Hilliard and Ricky Williams, of millions of dollars. The former broker, who is from Houston and was based out of New Orleans, pleaded guilty to one count of interstate transportation of stolen property in 2018.

Fulford, who also used the last names King, Williams, Simpson, Rivers, and Barard as her aliases, along with the names Devon Cole and Devin Barard, admitted that she falsely told her former clients that she had degrees from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School, as well as that she had made millions of dollars on Wall Street. She told her victims that they didn’t need to pay her a fee because she was already wealthy and just wanted to help them protect their funds.

Instead, Fulford, who was supposed to manage their money and pay their bills for them, diverted millions of dollars to support her own lavish spending habits. Even after pleading guilty and while out on bond in this criminal case, Fulford, as Peggy Jones, allegedly defrauded another man out of $25K.

Brian J. Ourand, a former Live Nation Entertainment and SFX Financial Advisory Management Enterprise executive, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud. Ourand admitted to embezzling almost $1M from heavyweight champion Mike Tyson, NBA basketball stars Glen Rice and Dikembe Mutombo, and another athlete.

According to prosecutors, Ourand began defrauding clients in 2003. They say that he used the funds to pay for hotel stays, tanning sessions, gambling activities, private school tuition for a girlfriend’s relative, and other expenses.

Ourand was charged in 2015 with multiple criminal counts, including wire fraud, mail fraud, and aggravated identity theft. As part of his plea agreement, the former financial adviser will repay the money he stole from the athletes.

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Robert Lunn, the financial adviser who bilked former NBA star Scottie Pippen, has been sentenced to three years behind bars. Lunn was convicted in 2014 of multiple counts of bank fraud.

According to prosecutors, he obtained $3M in loans from Leaders Bank, $1.4M of which he claimed was for Pippen to invest in a private jet. Instead, Lunn used the majority of funds for himself, including to pay for mortgage bills. He also used the money to pay other investment clients.

District Judge Charles Norgle, who imposed the prison term, said during trial that Lunn lied about forging the NBA legend’s signature, as well a claimed he’d received permission to apply for a second loan on behalf of Robert Geras, a retired venture capitalist. Norgle said that Lunn’s scam wasn’t your “garden variety fraud” and that he used “skills and connivance” when presenting himself to his victims.

Pippen was close to retirement when he invested over $20M with Lunn, who came highly recommended by the Bulls. He and his wife Larsa said less than a year after investing with Lunn, that they received a call from their accountant telling them that their adviser may have taken their money.

Pippen testified at Lunn’s criminal trial. He said that he hired Lunn in 1999 and signed papers that the financial adviser sent him for a loan in 2002. As his relationship with Lunn deteriorated, however, he refused to sign documents that would have extended the loan. Pippin claims that the adviser forged his name on the paperwork.

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