Ameen Najjar, the former NCAA investigator who botched the investigation into the University of Miami in the first place, kept in contact with Nevin Shapiro even after he was fired. In e-mails sent to Shapiro win prison, Najjar theorized that NCAA higher ups were trying to save Miami and apologized to Shaprio, a convicted Ponzi schemer.
While assigned to the investigation, Najjar ignored NCAA legal council and put Shapiro's lawyer, Mary Ellen Perez on payroll. He then obtained information through Perez from witnesses who would not cooperate with the NCAA but were subpoenaed as part of Shapiro's separate bankruptcy proceeding. He was fired by the NCAA this past May.
Najjar's unethical actions are currently at the crux of UM's fight to get the whole NCAA investigation thrown out.
Interestingly, Najjar appeared to be sympathetic to Shapiro's claims.
The Sun-Sentinel details e-mails that were entered into evidence today in a New Jersey court case by Shapiro's lawyer:
"I was fired today," Najjar wrote to Shapiro in one e-mail. "Apparently because they did not like the way I was moving the Miami case along. The conditions I have been working under for the past year have been horrible and it has taken a toll on me and my family. I am sorry and do not know what this means for the investigation."
"My belief is that they simply want to get the case done, even if it is half or only one quarter done," Najjar wrote to Shapiro about a week after his firing. "I don't know if it is simply to meet some arbitrary timeline or the upper levels are trying to save Miami. I suspect it's the latter."
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.