Professional Athletes, Celebrities Often Targeted for Securities Fraud

The Shepherd Smith Kantas & Edwards law firm has represented many athletes and other celebrities who lost millions because of improper handling of their investments. While overspending and poor investing are two common causes for these losses, the rich and famous also make easy targets for securities fraud, which is when our securities law firm steps in.

One reason for this is that many professional athletes and other people that have become famous are not prepared or well informed about how to manage their new wealth. This can make them easy prey for irresponsible or purposely negligent financial advisers.

“We listen to complaints daily about the mishandling of investors accounts,” said Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas founder and securities fraud lawyer William Shepherd. “Yet, it is surprising even to me that financial firms and advisors would engage in financial wrongdoing that harms high-profile investors. Many ‘financial sociopaths’ have zero thought about others and, apparently, little concern for their own negative notoriety.”

Just recently, 30 NFL players, including wide receiver Terrell Owens, pursued a Florida broker over a casino project that resulted in over $40 million in losses. In February, ex-boxing heavyweight Mike Tyson filed a securities fraud lawsuit against his ex-advisor and financial advisory firm for allegedly pulling out over $300,000 from their accounts, causing him lose millions of dollars in income. In July, Mike Sweeney, the five-time MLB All-Star filed a securities case against UBS Financial Services (UBS) and his ex-broker there claiming he suffered about $7.6 million in losses.

Other Recent Securities Cases Involving Defrauded Pro Athletes (Investment News):
• FINRA awarded $1.46 million to NBA champion Horace Grant against Morgan Keegan & Co. over mortgage-backed securities and funds that lost up to 80% when the subprime market failed. Fund manager James Kelseo consented to pay $500,000 in penalties for allegedly inflating the securities’ value.

• Dozens of athletes, including NBA player Jason Terry and US Olympic soccer player Heather Mitts are suing SunTrust Bank (STI) and William Crafton Jr. over losses they sustained in a number of Ponzi scams.

• Green Bay Packers’ Vince Young is embroiled in a securities case with financial adviser Ron Peoples and ex-agent Major Adams II over $5.5 million losses. He is alleging breach of fiduciary duty, unjust enrichment, breach of contract, and usury.

As our securities fraud law firm mentioned earlier, athletes are not the only celebrities to fall victim to negligent or greedy representatives. Actors Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, and John Malkovich, film director Steven Spielberg, candidate and former New York governor and current NY City Comptroller Candidate Eliot Spitzer, and Dreamworks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg are just some of the wealthy people that sustained losses in the Bernard Madoff Ponzi Scam.

Contact our securities fraud law firm to request your free case assessment.

Athletes vs. Advisers, Investment News
Terrell Owens Adviser Banned After NFL Players Lose $40 Million, Bloomberg/Businessweek, March 7, 2013

More Blog Posts:
SEC Stops Former Marine’s Hedge Fund Fraud That Targeted Military Folk, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, August 12, 2013

US Will Likely Arrest Two Ex-JPMorgan Chase Employees Over Trading Losses Related to the London Whale Debacle, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, August 10, 2013
Investors Claim They Lost $300M in Ohio Ponzi Fraud Lawsuit, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, August 10, 2013