NBA all-star and current Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard, Jrue Holiday, is among the current and former players who were defrauded by a former financial advisor out of $13 million.
According to a report by CNBC, Darryl Cohen, who once worked for Morgan Stanley, is accused of transferring money from the accounts of several NBA clients. Federal prosecutors confirm that Cohen has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. Additionally, he is charged with one count of investment advisor fraud, “which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will also be tacking on an additional charge to Cohen for defrauding the players out of $1 million.
Cohen did not act alone in his crimes. Former NBA agent Charles Briscoe has also been “charged with one count of aggravated identity theft,” while Brian Gilder and Calvin Darden, Jr. were also complicit in the plans. The schemes included expensive life insurance policies, swindling charitable donations, and plans to acquire a WNBA team, according to MarketWatch. Cohen allegedly misappropriated funds to pay off his own credit card debt and build sports facilities in his backyard. All four members of the fraudulent plot could potentially spend up to 40 years in prison.
“These defendants believed that defrauding their professional athlete clients of millions of dollars would be a layup. That was a huge mistake, and they now face serious criminal charges for their alleged crimes,” said Damian Williams, the U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York in a press release. Though court papers did not identify the names of those affected by the scams, an attorney representing the players named Holiday, Chandler Parsons, and Courtney Lee as victims.
Morgan Stanley said that Darryl Cohen was released from his position in 2021 and that it is prepared to help with the investigation.