The Securities and Exchange Commission charged former pro football player Merrill Robertson Jr. on Wednesday with defrauding mainly elderly investors, including former coaches, out of $6 million.
According to the SEC complaint filed in federal court in Richmond, Virginia, Robertson — a former player with the Philadelphia Eagles — along with Sherman Vaughn Jr., and the company they co-owned, Cavalier Union Investments LLC, promised to invest in diversified holdings but diverted nearly $6 million of the more than $10 million they raised from investors to pay for personal expenses and used other funds to repay earlier investors.
Robertson and Vaughn, both of whom are unregistered to sell securities, are alleged to have lied about the unregistered debt securities they sold, saying they would yield as much as 20% “while providing safety and security for our investors.”
The scheme allegedly targeted seniors and coaches, donors, alumni and employees of schools Robertson had attended, including coaches Robertson knew from his time playing football for the Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Virginia.
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In a parallel action, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced criminal charges against Robertson the same day.