DALLAS (AP) – The Texas financial adviser who committed suicide last year as federal investigators probed his management of college coaches’ money changed his life insurance less than a month before his death to make former University of Houston football coach Bill Yeoman the beneficiary of $1.8 million.
The decision by David Salinas could have allowed Yeoman to recoup his losses in what the Securities and Exchange Commission alleges was a $39 million Ponzi scheme, but the Hall of Fame coach declined to claim the money.
The 11th-hour change in Salinas’ life insurance, detailed in a court document filed this week, suggests that the prominent Houston booster could have felt guilty about his dealings with Yeoman, who turns 85 in December.
“I think he thought, ‘Well, I’ll reimburse Coach because I screwed him and he’s 85,’” said Bill Yeoman Jr., the coach’s eldest son. “But, of course, he screwed everybody.”
The elder Yeoman, who coached t he Cougars from 1962 to 1986 and still works for the university in a fundraising capacity, declined to be interviewed, referring all comment to his son.
Salinas, 60, was found dead in his suburban Houston home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound last July. Two weeks later, the SEC filed a lawsuit alleging he and an associate sold bogus corporate bonds in a scheme that defrauded more than 100 investors, including several high-profile college coaches.
Bill Yeoman Jr., a retired Harris County justice of the peace, said his father invested approximately $1.2 million with Salinas starting in the mid-1980s.
Although most of the investment appears to be lost, the coach never considered keeping the insurance benefit, the son said. Instead, he allowed it to be turned over to the receiver appointed by the SEC to recover funds for Salinas’ investors and creditors.
“Dad just said, ‘That’s not something I’m entitled to unless everybody else gets their money back,’” Bill Yeoman Jr. said.
In a court filing, the receiver, Steven Harr, said Salinas revised a $3 million life insurance policy last June 25, three weeks before his suicide, designating Yeoman and two others as beneficiaries. All three were victims of the alleged fraud, according to the document.