Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director in Demand of the New York Subject Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), introduced the unsealing of a six-rely Indictment charging DARRYL COHEN, BRIAN GILDER, CHARLES BRISCOE, and CALVIN DARDEN, JR. in relationship with two strategies to defraud experienced basketball players. COHEN and GILDER ended up arrested this early morning in, respectively, Chatsworth, California, and North Ridge, California, and will be offered afterwards these days in the United States District Courtroom for the Central District of California. BRISCOE was arrested this early morning in Katy, Texas, and will be presented later these days in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. DARDEN, JR. was arrested this morning in Atlanta, Georgia, and will be offered later nowadays in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams reported: “As alleged in the indictment, these defendants believed that defrauding their skilled athlete shoppers of millions of dollars would be a layup. That was a large mistake, and they now encounter major criminal fees for their alleged crimes.”
FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll reported: “As alleged, the defendants engaged in techniques to defraud 4 skilled basketball players of additional than $13 million. Today’s steps ought to serve as an example to other individuals who have interaction in felony action to provide their possess greedy monetary desires at the price of some others – the FBI is dedicated to bringing you to justice.”
As alleged in the Indictment:
COHEN and GILDER
From at least in or about 2017 through in or about 2020, COHEN, a registered financial commitment adviser, orchestrated a scheme to defraud 3 distinct specialist basketball player shoppers (“Athlete-1,” “Athlete-2,” and “Athlete-3,” respectively) of a total of above $5 million by taking benefit of his advisory and fiduciary relationships with those people consumers. COHEN conspired with BRIAN GILDER, an independent monetary planner whom COHEN encouraged his customers to do the job with and who assisted in tax preparing for Athletes-1, -2, and -3.
Initial, COHEN and GILDER fraudulently induced Athletes-1, -2, and -3 to order viatical daily life insurance policies procedures at significant markups. COHEN and GILDER did not disclose that GILDER experienced organized for a purported legislation organization (“Law Business-1”) that he managed to order the polices and then to offer them to the athletes at markups of 222%, 310%, and 244%, respectively. Certainly, Law Firm-1 designed about $4.5 million in financial gain from the sale of the procedures to COHEN and GILDER’s athlete customers. COHEN and GILDER made use of a considerable part of these illicit proceeds to spend their individual personal expenditures. In specific: (i) GILDER made use of roughly $257,479 of the resources to pay off a home loan he owed (ii) COHEN employed somewhere around $178,462 of the cash to renovate his house and to execute work on his pool (iii) COHEN made use of close to $67,500 of the resources to pay back off his private credit score card bill and (iv) COHEN transferred somewhere around $200,000 of the funds to an particular person with whom he was in a romantic romantic relationship.
2nd, COHEN directed that $500,000 be transferred from the accounts of Athletes-2 and -3 as purported donations to a non-earnings group. COHEN then utilised close to $238,000 of the funds purportedly donated to the non-earnings to create athletic education amenities in the yard of his property. Athletes-2 and -3 under no circumstances, in reality, approved any transfers of their cash to the non-profit business. When Athlete-2 confronted COHEN about the donations, COHEN explained to Athlete-2 in a textual content information, in compound and in portion, that Athlete-2’s dollars experienced “[h]elped a good deal of long term prospects and a whole lot of underprivileged children.” COHEN did not disclose to Athlete-2 that a sizeable portion of Athlete-2’s donations had, in fact, been applied to establish an athletic training facility in COHEN’s backyard.
Third, COHEN and GILDER used a sporting activities company and an additional law company to channel roughly $328,125 of Athlete-2’s funds to repay a previous expert baseball participant (“Athlete-4”), who was a disgruntled customer of COHEN’s. Athlete-4 experienced expressed issue to COHEN about investments and financial loans that COHEN made on Athlete‑4’s behalf and demanded to be repaid. On or about February 19, 2020, in the midst of earning the payments of Athlete-2’s cash to Athlete-4, COHEN messaged GILDER, “We gotta mail [Athlete-4] extra to get rid of him.” Athlete-2 did not authorize the use of resources from his account to repay debts owed by COHEN to Athlete-4.
BRISCOE and DARDEN, JR.
BRISCOE and DARDEN, JR. also defrauded experienced basketball gamers. BRISCOE was an NBA agent, and DARDEN, JR. experienced beforehand pled guilty to wire fraud in the Southern District of New York.
BRISCOE served as the sporting activities agent of a qualified basketball participant (“Athlete-5”). Athlete-5 commenced talking about the chance of purchasing a skilled women’s basketball crew (“Team-1”), and BRISCOE introduced Athlete-5 to DARDEN, JR. Since Athlete-5 was not permitted to obtain Staff-1 as an energetic qualified basketball league player, BRISCOE, DARDEN, JR., and a relative of DARDEN, JR., who serves or has served on the boards of a number of community providers (“Relative-1”), reviewed with Athlete-5 an arrangement in which Athlete-5 would indirectly obtain Staff-1 via a enterprise (“Company-1”) purportedly controlled by Relative-1. BRISCOE provided Athlete-5 with a slide deck outlining a “vision plan” for the buy of Group-1 by Corporation-1. The “vision plan” claimed, amongst other items, that Organization-1 was led by Relative-1 and was encouraged by a board like many outstanding people in athletics, amusement, and corporate The usa. In real truth and in reality, and as BRISCOE and DARDEN, JR. very well knew, at minimum two of these men and women never ever served as advisors to Corporation-1.
Among in or about November 2020 and in or about December 2020, Athlete‑5 brought about $7 million to be transferred to a bank account managed by DARDEN, JR. Athlete-5 comprehended that these payments had been in get for Athlete-5 to obtain and turn into full proprietor of Crew-1. In reality and in point, none of the money Athlete-5 sent went toward the invest in of Crew-1, and Athete-5 did not develop into an owner of Crew-1. In its place, from about November 2020 until eventually roughly December 2021, DARDEN, JR. transferred a lot more than $1 million of the cash to BRISCOE. In addition, DARDEN, JR. retained a considerable portion of the money for himself and his relatives, sending extra than $500,000 to a relative and far more than $400,000 to a cryptocurrency exchange for his reward. DARDEN, JR. also employed some of the resources to fork out for luxurious items for himself, such as close to $880,000 to luxurious car providers, extra than $300,000 to art galleries, and much more than $100,000 to buy a piano, between other points. DARDEN, JR. also spent in excess of roughly $1 million in relationship with purchasing and earning improvements to a home, together with, amid other points, the addition of a koi pond.
BRISCOE and DARDEN, JR. also labored with each other to defraud Athlete-2. BRISCOE, in consultation with COHEN and GILDER, was purportedly making a new sports agency (“Agency-1”) funded by Athlete-2. BRISCOE certain Athlete-2 that BRISCOE experienced signed, as a result of Company-1, a highly touted athlete preparing for a specialist basketball draft (“Athlete-6”). In truth, Athlete-6 had not signed with BRISCOE or Agency-1. Rather, BRISCOE cast the signature of Athlete-6 and Athlete-6’s mother on a participant-agent agreement and sent that solid agreement to Athlete-2. BRISCOE then directed Athlete-2 to transfer $1 million to BRISCOE as a “loan” to Athlete-6 though Athlete-6 geared up for the draft. In truth, Athlete-6 in no way experienced any discussions with BRISCOE or DARDEN, JR. about signing with BRISCOE or about acquiring a $1 million loan, and Athlete-6 hardly ever gained any aspect of the $1 million loan. Alternatively, BRISCOE utilised approximately $306,642 of the resources transferred by Athlete-2 to pay back off a personal debt that BRISCOE experienced personally incurred and also transferred somewhere around $544,000 to a bank account controlled by DARDEN, JR.
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COHEN, 49, of Chatsworth, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada, GILDER, 49, of North Ridge, California, BRISCOE, 35, of Katy, Texas, and DARDEN, JR. 49, of Atlanta, Ga, are each and every billed with a person count of conspiracy to dedicate wire fraud and one particular rely of wire fraud. Each and every count carries a optimum sentence of 20 several years in jail. COHEN is also billed with one particular count of investment decision advisor fraud, which carries a highest sentence of five a long time in prison, and BRISCOE is also charged with just one depend of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory prison term of two yrs.
The utmost opportunity sentences are recommended by Congress and are supplied in this article for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be identified by a decide.
Mr. Williams praised the exceptional perform of the FBI. Mr. Williams also thanked the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Central District of California, the Northern District of Georgia, and the Southern District of Texas for their help in the investigation. Mr. Williams even more thanked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which these days submitted a parallel civil motion against COHEN, for its assistance and cooperation in this investigation.
The circumstance is currently being prosecuted by the Office’s Complicated Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Lawyers Katherine Reilly and Kevin Mead are in charge of the prosecution.
The prices contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and till demonstrated responsible.
 As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the textual content of the Indictment and the description of the Indictment established forth herein represent only allegations, and each and every truth described therein really should be treated as an allegation.