CHICAGO (CBS) – Former Chicago Bears defender Alex Brown is suing the owner of multiple investment firms claiming he misused a $750,000 loan.
Brown claims Wealth Capital Management Group owner Anthony Delfre misused a $750,000 loan Brown gave him and his investment firm Players Group LLC, according to a suit filed Sept. 9 in Cook County Circuit Court. On Wednesday, the suit was moved into U.S. District Court.
Brown, 31, was drafted by the Bears in the fourth round in 2002. The defensive end played eight seasons in Chicago, where he recorded 43.5 sacks. In 2010 he was signed by the New Orleans Saints.
The suit claims Brown gave Delfre $750,000 to put in CDs to provide Delfre with collateral for Players Group to purchase “air ranches” and recoup money from previous investments.
Delfre told Brown the money would be returned with interest after Players Group made the purchases, according to the suit. Brown agreed to the loan Dec. 11, 2009, on the recommendation of his advisers Jason Jernigan and Michael Rowan.
However, Brown was not provided with any loan agreement, purchase agreement or other documentation proving his contribution, and never received any documentation from Players Club, the suit said.
Brown, a Lake County resident, learned this year that his money was not in a CD and was being spent by Players Group, according to the suit. Players Group has refused to tell Brown how his money is being used, how much remains unspent and where the money is located, the suit said.
The original four-count suit claimed, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty and violation of the Illinois consumer fraud act. Brown is seeking $1.5 million in compensatory damages, $4.5 million in punitive damages, plus the cost of the suit from Delfre, Players Group and Wealth Capitol Management Group.
On Wednesday, Delfre and the investment groups moved the case to U.S. federal court because Delfre and the investment groups are Ohio-based and some of the allegations involve violations of federal law.
Christopher Kahler, attorney for Delfre and the investment groups, declined to comment on the allegations Wednesday night.
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