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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > SEC

Ex-NFL Player Found Guilty of Defrauding Investors in Second Trial

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Ex-Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Merrill Robertson Jr. was found guilty in a second criminal trial of defrauding investors out of $10 million, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday.

On Oct. 28, a federal jury in Richmond, Virginia, again returned a guilty verdict against Robertson for defrauding investors that included coaches he knew from his time playing football for the Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Virginia, according to the SEC.

Robertson will be sentenced Jan. 3, 2020, the SEC said.

The ex-National Football League player was convicted on the same charges for the first time in August 2017 and was sentenced to 40 years in prison in December that year.

The SEC had charged the former NFL player in 2016 with defrauding mainly elderly investors out of $10 million. According to the original SEC complaint filed in federal court in Richmond, Robertson — along with Sherman Vaughn Jr., and the company they co-owned, Cavalier Union Investments LLC — promised to invest in diversified holdings. But they instead 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.

A federal court last year entered a final judgment against Robertson, ordering him to pay $8 million in disgorgement for defrauding investors.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit vacated Robertson’s 2017 conviction and remanded the case to the district court.

At the time of the misconduct, Robertson wasn’t registered as a broker, and Vaughn never was registered with the SEC, it said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted with the case, the SEC said.


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