(Last Updated On: August 11, 2016)
On August 10th, the SEC charged Merrill Robertson Jr., a former NFL player for the Philadelphia Eagles, with defrauding investors, including coaches he knew from his time playing football for the Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Virginia.
The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, charges Robertson, Sherman C. Vaughn Jr., and the company they co-owned, Cavalier Union Investments LLC. According to the complaint, the defendants promised to invest in diversified holdings but diverted nearly $6 million of the more than $10 million they raised from investors to pay for personal expenses and used other funds to repay earlier investors.
Robertson and Vaughn, allegedly lied about the unregistered debt securities, saying they would yield up to 20 percent “while providing safety and security for our investors.” According to the document, the defendants claimed that Cavalier had investment funds operated by experienced investment advisers when it did not have any funds or investment advisers and was insolvent from the beginning.
The defendants allegedly hid this fact from potential investors and relied on cash from new investors to stay afloat. Purportedly Cavalier’s only investments were in restaurants that had all failed by 2014, information the defendants never disclosed as they continued soliciting and accepting investors’ money. The scheme allegedly targeted seniors and coaches, donors, alumni, and employees of schools Robertson had attended.
In addition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced criminal charges against Robertson.
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