Dwight Freeney will find out if he’s as effective in the court as he was on the field.
The former Indianapolis Colts defensive end is taking on one of biggest banks in America, which he claimed was part of a scheme to bilk him from his massive NFL earnings.
Freeney filed suit against Bank of America, which he said played a role in a fraud scheme.
“In 2010, Dwight Freeney authorized Bank of America to manage his assets, including his NFL salary,” Jeffrey B. Isaacs said. “Two years later, Dwight had lost more than $20 million because of BofA’s fraud scheme.”
“The entire scheme could not have happened without the substantial involvement and approval of BofA. It was a nightmare scenario: my client went to one of the nation’s biggest banks and asked for its help managing his finances. And what did BofA do? BofA treated Dwight like a mark in a con-game.”
Dwight Freeney claims that, in 2010, he trusted a Merrill Lynch employee named Eva Weinberg with managing his personal finances and business ventures, which at the time included a restaurant in Los Angeles called Rolling Stone LA. Weinberg lost her job, but turned over work on Freeney’s portfolio to her boyfriend, Michael Stern.
Stern reportedly told Freeney he was a multi-millionaire businessman named Michael Millar, interested in investing $7 million into Freeney’s restaurant.
That is where Bank of America came in, as Sporting News noted.
“But Stern was actually in bankruptcy, with upward of $23,000 in debt, and had no intention of investing in the restaurant. Instead, operating under the guise of Freeney’s ‘protector, mentor and friend,’ Stern organized an employee-less company to oversee Rolling Stone LA and opened two bank accounts under Freeney’s name — one with Bank of America and another with Citibank.
Between June 2010 and October 2011, Stern, with the help of Weinberg, transferred more than $9 million of Freeney’s money from the Citibank account into the Bank of America account with Freeney’s knowledge.”
Bank of America denies any involvement in a scheme to defraud Dwight Freeney.
“Although we sympathize with Mr. Freeney as the victim of a crime, the bank had nothing to do with the criminal scheme,” Bill Halldin, a spokesperson for Bank of America, told Perform Media. “The two people responsible for this wrongdoing have already been convicted. The primary wrongdoer never worked for the bank or any of its affiliates, and the other person committed her criminal conduct after she left (Bank of America’s financial management division) Merrill Lynch in 2010.”
Dwight Freeney is seeking $20 million, but may have other plans to make money. The 34-year-old NFL free agent said he is looking for a new team to play his 14th season in the league.