BALTIMORE (WJZ) — New information in the lawsuit filed against banking giant BB&T by more than a dozen current and former NFL stars, including Ray Lewis.
Derek Valcourt has a look at why the players say the bank owes them nearly $60 million.
For the first time, we’re getting a look at some of the evidence that Ray Lewis and the other players say proves millions of their money was taken without their knowledge.
There are two different sets of signatures. One is the real signatures of athletes like Lewis, Clinton Portis and Fred Taylor. On the right is what their attorney claims is an obvious forgery.
“I was shocked at the scope and the magnitude of this case,” said Andrew Kagan.
Kagan represents legendary Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis and 15 other current and former NFL athletes who say because of those bogus signatures, they’ve lost millions in unauthorized bank transactions.
They blame BB&T Bank.
“All they would have had to do was compared the old signature with this new one and I mean it literally looks like someone wrote Ray Lewis’ name in cursive,” Kagan said.
The allegations center around former financial advisor Jeff Rubin, whose firm—Pro Sports Financial—helped athletes pay bills and manage money. The suit claims BankAtlantic, which was acquired by BB&T, allowed Rubin and his employees to open illegitimate accounts in the players’ names, then transfer money out using the allegedly phony signatures.
“Anybody could look at these signatures and tell that they were forged. The problem was that there was no checks and balances at the bank,” Kagan said.
The NFL players insist they didn’t know their money was being used for certain investments, including an Alabama entertainment complex called Center Stage, which was later raided by Alabama’s attorney general for having illegal gambling machines.
In all, the suit claims Lewis lost nearly $3.8 million, along with millions in losses for the other athletes as well.
For its part, BB&T Bank has declined to comment on the lawsuit, only pointing out that the case centers around actions taken by BankAtlantic prior to its acquisition by BB&T.
The financial advisor at the center of the allegations has been banned for life by securities regulators after high risk investments lost millions for other NFL athletes, including Terrell Owens.
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