“They Lied To Me & Ripped Me Off”: NFL Player Dwight Freeney Sues Bank Of America For $20M
Dwight Freeney, a free agent NFL player, is coming for Bank of America. The company allegedly schemed to suck his bank account dry. According to USA Today, Freeney entrusted the bank to manage his finances, but ended up being bamboozled out of millions of dollars.
The former Chargers and Colts defender is suing BofA for supposedly setting Freeney up with an unqualified private banker and her “notorious financial predator” boyfriend, the Charlotte Observer said. This, according to Freeney, led to the closure of his Los Angeles restaurant, Rolling Stone.
“He had secured an exclusive licensing agreement with Rolling Stone magazine and was on track to open a second eatery in California,” USA Today said, quoting Freeney’s attorney Jeffrey Issacs. But his ventures had to be put on hold thanks to the alleged fraudulent practices of Eva Weinberg, and her “paramour,” Michael Stern.
Here’s where it gets hairy: According to the lawsuit, Stern has a tarnished reputation in the world of finance — real estate fraud, bribery, forgery, and theft — so he used a fake name to solicit Freeney’s business.
“In the course of the scheme, Mr. Freeney was lied to, misled and had more than $8.5 million misappropriated from his BOA accounts by the very bankers and advisers who were responsible for managing his assets, investments and income,” the lawsuit said.
BofA released a statement saying that they have nothing to do with Freeney’s unfortunate circumstances:
“Although we sympathize with Mr. Freeney as the victim of a crime, the bank had nothing to do with the criminal scheme,” Bill Halldin, a spokesman for Charlotte-based Bank of America, said in a statement. “The primary wrongdoer [Stern] never worked for the bank or any of its affiliates and the other person [Weinberg] committed her criminal conduct after she left Merrill Lynch in 2010.”
But Issacs rebukes the statement and said that BofA should have notified Freeney that Weinberg left the company to start her own business, Global Wealth Management, according to UT San Diego.
The ex-Chargers linebacker said that the fraud scheme nearly deprived him and his family the financial security he built during his 13-year NFL career.
“I worked hard for my money,” Freeney said, according to UT San Diego. “I put my trust in BofA to honestly manage my finances. I thought they were on my team. Instead BofA’s team was a team of thieves who defrauded me out of millions of dollars. They lied to me and ripped me off. …”
Suing BofA to replenish a loss of $20 million, Freeney concluded: “I want this lawsuit to be a warning to others, and I want BofA to clean house and use its financial power to help, not hurt, its customers.”