Dwight Freeney, the linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals will be able to move forward with his securities fraud case naming Bank of America Corp. (BAC). According to the National Football League player, the bank was complicit in a scam that compelled him to lose over $20M and force his restaurant to shut down. Bank of America had recruited Freeney in 2010 because they wanted to manage his assets.
Its Merrill Lynch unit had tried to have the misrepresentations and fraud claims against it dismissed. Frenzy, however, contends that the head of his financial advisory team at the bank arranged for now ex-bank employee Eva Weinberg, to act as the football player’s main liaison with Bank of America. The bank also referred Freeney to Michael Stern, who was Weinberg’s “paramour.” Stern purportedly used a fake name and already had a record for fraud, forgery, and theft. He was to advise the NFL star financially.
Freeney and his company Roof Group say that the bank and its adviser Michael Bock aided and abetted the scam that bilked his accounts of over $8.5million. He says he lost over $20 million because of the fraud. He believes that Bank of America and Bock were negligent in that they did not protect him from the financial scam, which he says began in 2010 when Weinberg still worked at Merrill Lynch. Freeney also believes that Bank of America and Bock fraudulently induced him into signing with the firm by keeping information from him that could have prevented him from getting sucked into the scam.
In 2012, Weinberg and Stern were charged with fraud and other crimes. They both reached plea agreements and were sentenced to time behind bars.
While U.S. District Judge Margaret Morrow didn’t issues a decision regarding the merits of Freeney’s claims, she said that he’d alleged enough facts that the case could proceed. Morrow, however, did grant Bank of America’s request to dismiss the NBA star’s allegations of racketeering, as well as nearly all of claims involving Bank of America NA. The bank maintains that it was not involved in the scam run by Weinberg and Stern.
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Dwight Freeney: Bank of America lied and ripped me off, Yahoo
NFL’s Dwight Freeney Can Pursue BofA, Merrill Fraud Claims, FA-Mag, November 23, 2015