DALLAS (CN) - A sports agent claims former NFL player turned recruiter Horace Smith borrowed more than $300,000 from him using the names of three player-clients, made "unauthorized and extravagant expenditures supposedly on behalf of players," and failed to return two rental cars, one of which is still missing.
Jordon Woy says he fired the former Cincinnati Bengals defensive back after the "unauthorized conduct" came to light in February. And he claims that now Smith is trying to steal clients from the Willis & Woy Sports Group and start his own agency.
"Smith began a course of unauthorized conduct in or around February 2010, whereby he borrowed monies supposedly on behalf of three players whom plaintiffs represented," according to Woy's complaint in Dallas County Court.
"Smith clandestinely negotiated for loans supposedly on behalf of the players, executed documents to open brokerage accounts in the names of the players, and executed promissory notes for such players to fund such brokerage accounts, where he forged the signatures of the players and of plaintiff to the promissory notes."
Woy says that "the fraudulent transactions involved primarily loans in the approximate amount of $310,000, at high rates of interest."
Woy wants Smith enjoined from competing with his agency and from acting as an agent or contract adviser. He claims that Smith is starting his own agency, despite signing a contract that bars him from competing with Willis & Woy for a year after termination.
"Plaintiffs have further discovered that Smith is contacting existing players who are under an agency contract with plaintiffs and inducing them to renounce their contracts and join him in a new agency which he is trying to establish," according to the complaint. "On information and belief, Smith is representing that he has voluntarily left the employment of plaintiffs to pursue other opportunities, and is misrepresenting his status and abilities in an attempt to induce players under contract with plaintiffs to breach their contracts."
After firing Smith in February, Woy says, he discovered that the fraudulent loans were part of a pattern of bad behavior, the cost of which the agency is still figuring out.
"Plaintiffs discovered that Smith had made unauthorized and extravagant expenditures supposedly on behalf of players represented by plaintiffs, and that rental cars had been improperly obtained and never returned," the complaint states. "The total additional damages resulting from these wrongful acts has not yet been determined, but is feared substantial. Enterprise Rent-A-Car credit accounts held by the company were utilized by defendant to locate one missing vehicle improperly rented by Smith, but one remains missing, and Enterprise is threatening criminal reports of such missing automobile as a missing or stolen vehicle."
Woy also names Smith's wife, LaShonta Smith, as a defendant, claiming that signatures on the loans "were notarized by Smith's wife ... in violation of law because such documents were not actually in her presence with proper identification as to the supposed signers."
Woy says he hired Smith as an "athlete recruiter" in 2008 after representing him during his football career.
He seeks actual and punitive damages for theft of trade secrets, misappropriation of corporate opportunities, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition and tortious interference.
He is represented by Emil Lippe of Dallas.
Read the Top 8
Sign up for the Top 8, a roundup of the day's top stories delivered directly to your inbox Monday through Friday.