When it comes to professional athletes, the simple -- and unfortunate -- truth is that they are often targeted by unscrupulous financial professionals looking to take advantage of their large cash reserves and relative ignorance of financial matters. Fortunately, more and more of these professional athletes are becoming aware of this potential problem, and are now choosing to fight back in a court of law.
To illustrate, consider the recent lawsuit filed by Jaret Wright, a retired professional baseball player who pitched for the Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Atlanta Braves over the course of his ten-year career, which ended in 2007.
According to the lawsuit, Wright retained the services of the defendant financial advisor back in 1997 based on his assurances that he utilized a conservative approach to investing that was specially designed to protect the fortunes of professional athletes.
However, the lawsuit claims that over the next decade, the financial advisor proceeded to invest Wright's money into multiple Ponzi schemes, which gave him lucrative kickbacks and cost the retired pitcher $7.5 million.
"Contrary to [the defendant's] express representation, he also placed [Wright] in high-risk, alternative instruments which were Ponzi schemes or other fraudulent investments run, managed, controlled, operated and/or created by individuals with whom [the defendant] had a personal relationship, a vested interest and kick-back agreements," reads the complaint.
Wright claims that he only became aware of the financial advisor's mismanagement of his assets in 2012, after an independent third party audited his finances for an unrelated investment opportunity.
The complaint also names a variety of financial institutions, including SunTrust Bank, SunTrust Investment Services and CSI Capital Management to name only a few. Here, the complaint accuses these institutions of "active and/or fraudulent concealment of information and documentation that prevented [Wright] from knowing or discovering the wrongs being committed against him."
Wright's lawsuit -- which alleges malpractice, failure to warn, breach of fiduciary duty and fraudulent misrepresentation, to name only a few -- asks for disgorgement, and actual and punitive damages.
Stay tuned for updates ...
From gross negligence to fraudulent behavior, if you believe that an attorney's malpractice has caused you considerable damage here in California, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can help you pursue the justice you deserve.
Source: Courthouse News Service, "Pro pitcher claims adviser cost him $7.5M," Joe Harris, September 27, 2013