On the heels of regulators red-flagging a potential $18 million scam last week, multiple federal agencies are probing investments sold to NFL and NBA players, Yahoo! Sports has learned. According to multiple sources that spoke to Yahoo! Sports on the condition of anonymity, several professional athletes have either been contacted or been urged to contact investigators from the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Three sources also told Yahoo! Sports that the NFL Players Association has asked a handful of its athletes with investments tied to Jade Management to contact FBI investigators. Jade previously managed finances for dozens of professional athletes, and had investment ties to Success Trade – a firm that came under fire from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) last week. Success Trade was ordered to halt fundraising last week after allegedly selling $18 million in fraudulent and unregistered promissory notes to 58 persons, many of whom were NFL and NBA players. Jade Management founder Jinesh "Hodge" Brahmbhatt told Yahoo! Sports his firm had more than 30 athletes who purchased high interest investments that FINRA now says were fraudulent. Some of those investments purportedly generated interest returns between 11 and 26 percent. In a complaint filed by FINRA and obtained by Yahoo! Sports, regulators allege that multiple athletes involved with Success Trade were introduced to the fraudulent notes by representatives of Jade Management. Success Trade is alleged to have made at least $1.25 million in payments to Jade Management since March 2009. During an 18-month investigation, Yahoo! Sports identified multiple athletes that purchased promissory notes from Success Trade. Among them were Detroit Pistons guard Brandon Knight, Cleveland Browns cornerback Joe Haden, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis and former Chicago Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye.
Federal investigators probing alleged $18 million scam involving NFL and NBA players
Published On: Apr 18 2013 05:51:21 AM CDT Updated On: Apr 18 2013 05:51:22 AM CDT
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