Litigation instituted by a group of sixteen former and current NFL football players continues before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida over investments gone bad. The lawsuit involves a South Florida bank known as BankAtlantic, which was acquired by North Carolina-based bank BB&T in 2012. The group of NFL players, which includes some big names, including Ray Lewis, Brandon Meriweather, Santana Moss, and Santonio Holmes, allege that BankAtlantic allowed a financial management firm, Pro Sports Financial, Inc., to open accounts in their names, without their permission, using forged signatures. Pro Sports Financial, Inc. allegedly withdrew almost $53 million from player bank accounts, and invested the money in an Alabama casino venture. The casino project was ultimately declared illegal under Alabama state law, and the venture went bankrupt.
According to the Winston-Salem Journal, back in May, a number of claims were dismissed based upon statutory limitations on transactions that took place before October 31, 2009. According to the Journal, “analysts say they are curious to see how much legal and financial responsibility a jury may place on BB&T for account originations and transactions that its officials did not approve. On the flip side, analysts wonder how much responsibility a jury may place on the players for not paying closer attention to their money.”
Last month, Judge Beth Bloom dismissed in part another remaining claim but allowed three more claims to stand, and allowed the players to amend their complaint for the forth time. The matter is expected to go to trial in mid-2015.
While no one ever anticipates fraudulent business dealings with customers, vendors, or third parties, from time to time things happen. If you are part of a dispute with business competitors, and feel as though the other party is not playing by the rules, you need an experienced Georgia business litigator. Attorney James J. (“Jim”) Thomas II has more than 35 years of courtroom experience in the Atlanta area, and has represented professional athletes, teams, and leagues, as well as many other individuals and businesses. Jim is a business litigation expert who can handle complex business litigation as well as analysis, evaluation, and resolution of existing and potential litigation including trademark infringement claims. Give Jim a call at 404-869-5248 or visit www.litigationatlanta.com online.