Will Allen had a long career in the NFL as a cornerback for the Miami Dolphins. But if a federal court finds him guilty of 23 federal fraud charges, he’ll spend even more time in prison.
Federal authorities have accused Allen, 36, of operating a $31 million Ponzi scheme, actively defrauding fellow pro athletes who turned to Will’s company for loans to get them through the off-season, The Miami Herald reported.
The U.S. Attorney in Massachusetts indicted the former star on 23 felonies after an arrest by the Securities and Exchange Commission last week, Sports Illustrated added.
Allen‘s alleged Ponzi scheme went something like this, according to the indictment as reported by The Palm Beach Post: He ran a company with a co-conspirator, former bank executive Susan Daub, that specialized in high-interest short-term loans especially for pro NFL and MLB players. He raised money for them by tapping investors, but the loans were shams, according to the feds.
Will is accused of handing over these sham advances to three NFL and two baseball players. He loaned money to the NHL’s bankrupt defensemen Jack Johnson for real, but told investors he needed more than the actual amount. He gave $3.4 million to Johnson, but said the loan was for $5.65 million.
So where did the money go? The indictment didn’t leak many juicy details, but the Herald reported that part of the cash he allegedly kept for himself went to pay for a bit of fun at casinos and nightclubs. Overall, Allen pretended to raise $31 million for athletes, but they only got a little over half.
The FBI said Will kept most of it, $4.1 million to him personally and $61,000 to casinos where he had accounts. His accomplice, Daub, whose also been charged with 20 felonies of her own, earned $239,000 in the deal.
Overall, he is staring down an impressive list of charges: 12 counts of wire fraud — at 20 years in prison each — six counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and four counts of illegal monetary transactions.
He played for the NFL up until 2011 when an injury took him out of the game.
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