Pro Athletes Battle Friends and Family over Lost Fortunes

Because of their youth, wealth, and lack of sophistication as investors, professional athletes are often taken advantage of by unscrupulous financial advisors, friends, and family members.

If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, you might have noticed that two disheartening sports stories came out this week--only they weren’t really about sports. They were about money in sports. Specifically, they concerned two professional athletes who had both allegedly been swindled out of their major league fortunes by family-financial advisors.

First, we heard that pro baseball player Ryan Howard had been locked in a nasty legal battle against his twin brother, his mother and his father, over financial improprieties including allegations of fraud and mismanagement of Ryan’s fortune. Initially, Corey Howard, who had worked for Ryan as a “consultant,” sued his baseball-playing brother on grounds of breach of contract for almost $3 million; Ryan then countersued. A few months later, Ryan’s parents were also accused of enrichening themselves at their son’s expense, to the tune of several million dollars. At his playing and earning peak, Ryan had placed all of his faith and most of his money in a business venture set up by his father, Ron, and co-operated by his mother, Cheryl, and his other brother, Chris. Both sets of lawsuits settled or will settle out of court.

Next came news that pro hockey player Jack Johnson of the Columbus Blue Jackets declared bankruptcy after having allegedly lost almost his entire fortune to the connivances of his parents. Johnson, who signed a 7-year, $30.5 million contract in 2011, claims to have just $50,000 left in assets. According to reports, Johnson’s parents, especially his mother, to whom Johnson gave power-of-attorney when he was 24 years old, squandered the young player’s money by borrowing high interest loans against his future earnings in order to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Finally, here’s another story involving a pro athlete getting swindled that you won’t see in the news. Last month, The Green Firm quietly settled a major lawsuit on behalf of its former NHL hockey player client against that player’s former best friend for fraud and mismanagement.

And the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, professional athletes represent perfect targets for unscrupulous friends and family members, who use the trust they enjoy in their personal relationships with athletes to forge often illegitimate or ill-advised financial relationships. These athletes are typically young, wealthy, extremely busy, and unsophisticated as investors. They hire friends and family because they believe these people will look out for them. Without the credentials, accountability, and expertise of true financial professionals, friends and family often assume the role of “consultant,” which can turn into a license to steal.

Experienced Investment Fraud Attorneys

If you or anyone you know has been the victim of financial misconduct or investment fraud, please contact us immediately for a free consultation at 1-855-462-3330 or via email by clicking here.