South Florida is the Ponzi scheme capital of America, so perhaps it's not surprising that a former Miami Dolphins player has been charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission for allegedly running a scam of his own.
Will Allen was a Dolphins cornerback from 2006 through 2011 and then did a short stint with the New England Patriots before retiring, but apparently his post-NFL career was as a fraudster. Allen joined business partner Susan C. Daub to start a company that allegedly provided loans to professional athletes who were short on cash. The pair promised investors they'd receive returns of up to 18 percent once those loans were paid back.
Between July 2012 and February 2015, Allen and Daub received $20 million from investors but were paid back only $13 million from athletes. To make up for the shortcoming, the partners began paying back investors with money from other investors, AKA the textbook definition of a Ponzi scheme. The SEC claims the two "misled investors about the terms, circumstances, and even the existence of some of the loans."
The duo also used some of the money to bankroll their lifestyles and allegedly used some of the investors' cash to pay for expenses at casinos and nightclubs and to fund other business ventures.
Allen was living in Davie at the time, while Daub lived in Coral Springs.
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“The defendants sold investors on the idea of lending money to pro athletes, but we allege that’s not where a large portion of the investors’ money went. As in any Ponzi scheme, the appearance of a successful investment was only an illusion sustained by lies,” Paul G. Levenson, director of the SEC’s Boston regional office, said in a statement.
The SEC's complaint was filed April 1, and Allen's assets were immediately frozen. The SEC also seeks to have Allen and Daub banned from committing similar frauds and wants them to repay their investors with interest.
This is not Allen's first brush with the law. In 2010, while with the Dolphins, he was arrested on DUI charges after being stopped driving a Ferrari at 3:30 a.m. in South Beach. Allen allegedly ignored a detour sign, drove toward a police car, and stopped only two feet in front of it.