Investment Fraud Effects Five Current NFL Players.

The Anton Legal Group filed a Securities Arbitration and Litigation case involving 5 current NFL players. The case involves these players as victims of investment fraud the Oppenheimer Funds.

In Tampa, Florida a lawsuit was filed in the Hillsborough County Circuit Court by the Anton Legal Group wherein the defendant is the national securities firm, Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. The complaint alleges in its thirteen separate counts a systematic scheme to financially defraud a Tampa Oppenheimer client by Oppenheimer's New York City based financial advisor Joseph Vaccaro. The complaint alleges that monies were raised to fund investments whose purpose was to provide temporary short term loans to up and coming NFL draft picks whom were recent college football graduates, but not yet necessarily admitted as fully drafted members of the NFL. One of the up and coming athletes who participated in these loans was Emmanuel Sanders who is participated in Sunday's Superbowl wearing a Pittsburg Steelers uniform.

The complex scenario generally worked as follows. Investor monies were raised for the purpose of creating and funding an investment used to fund the temporary needs of young NFL recruits during the period of time immediately following their departure from college football and prior to their entry into the NFL draft. This is a period of time wherein sports agents aggressively recruit top NFL future talent to support their extremely lucrative businesses. Having monies available to lend to these recruits is a very powerful recruiting tool for sports agents. Monies were thus raised by Oppenheimer's New York City office through Vaccaro to fund the loans to these young recruits which were guaranteed by the players, the sports agencies, and others.

The complaint alleges that some of the investments made through Oppenheimer were in fact fraudulent. Some of the monies pooled in the investments were not loaned to NFL recruits, but were instead siphoned off for other purposes having nothing to do with these young men. Some of the recruits involved take the position that the accounts opened in their names at Oppenheimer were opened without their knowledge and that their signatures were falsified. Most importantly, some of the recruits stated that they had received none of the monies supposedly paid for their benefit. Accordingly, the investments were funded by Oppenheimer's client and the money is unaccounted for.

In its various different counts the complaint against Oppenheimer generally alleges, in part, that:

1. The Oppenheimer financial advisor was not registered or licensed to conduct business in Florida, as is required by Florida law;
2. The investments themselves were not registered, nor exempted from registration, in the state of Florida as is also required by Florida law;
3. The investor was never processed by Oppenheimer as an official client of Oppenheimer as is required by Federal law;
4. The financial instruments involved were falsified;
5. Some of the monies invested were siphoned off for unintended purposes; and
6.When the investment payoffs became past due various attempts were made to avoid payment.

The complaint further alleges a conspiracy of activity between the Oppenheimer financial advisor and HORACE SMITH, whom is a convicted financial crime felon currently on parole, and who was at the time, employed by the sports agency, involved at the time of the infractions.

Upon discovery of the fraud the investor victim immediately contacted Oppenheimer's Tampa office but Oppenheimer has steadfastly refused to accept responsibility to the investor's losses. The lawsuit was filed by the Anton Legal Group on behalf of the investor soon thereafter. The athletes specifically named in the complaint as being involved in the fraud are: Perrish Cox, CB, Denver Broncos; Daryl Washington, LB, Arizona Cardinals; and Brian Jackson, CB, New York Jets. Other recipients of the investor's funds included Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers and Lamarr Houston, DE, Oakland Raiders.

For further discussion on this topic, feel free to contact S. David Anton, Esquire of the Anton Legal Group at 813.443.5249 or visit us online at


Categories: Corporate Law, Business

Tags: Anton Legal Group, FINRA, PIABA, S. David Anton, Securities Arbitration

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