Dallas Cowboys Star Blames Ameriprise for Manager’s $15 Million Embezzlement

LITTLE ROCK (CN) — Dallas Cowboys running back Darren McFadden has sued Ameriprise Financial Services, claiming it knew that its former employee had mismanaged his accounts, allowing him to steal $15 million over the years and cover it up with fake records.

McFadden claimed in a June 2016 lawsuit that his longtime financial adviser Michael Vick cheated him of millions of dollars over eight years through withdrawals and fraudulent transfers to himself.

McFadden’s new lawsuit, filed Friday in Federal Court, accuses Ameriprise of having firsthand knowledge of Vick’s unlawful account activity, but failing to inform him, even after suspending Vick.

Vick, who is not the NFL quarterback of the same name, denies the allegations. Trial has been set for April 2018 in Little Rock for the case against Vick individually.

McFadden, 29, a 10-year NFL veteran, signed a six-year, $60 million contract when the Oakland Raiders drafted him fourth overall in the 2008 NFL Draft; it included $25 million in guaranteed money.

McFadden signed a one-year extension with the Dallas Cowboys in March, after committing to a contract two years earlier worth an estimated $5.85 million, including $200,000 in bonuses.

The former Arkansas Razorback says in his new lawsuit that he met Vick, then with Ameriprise, less than two months after signing his $60 million deal in 2008.

McFadden says the trouble began almost at once, when Ameriprise allowed Vick to encourage him to sign over control of his multimillion-dollar income and assets.

“Specifically, commencing under the direct supervision of defendant Ameriprise Financial, Vick ultimately misappropriated in excess of $15,000,000 of McFadden’s monies and assets, while further wrongfully encumbering McFadden with unnecessary debts and related penalties,” his May 12 lawsuit states.

By 2010, Vick had left Ameriprise to become McFadden’s full-time business manager and financial representative. McFadden says he was unaware of the 10-month investigation into Vick’s suspicious activity in McFadden’s accounts, which resulted in his suspension from Ameriprise.

“Ameriprise Financial never, at any time, informed McFadden that Vick was under investigation and ultimately suspended for suspicious and unauthorized account activity,” his 19-page complaint states.

McFadden says Ameriprise had firsthand knowledge of Vick’s unlawful activity, and an opportunity to stop his “pervasive misappropriation, but opted to say and do nothing.”

McFadden, originally from Little Rock, says Vick’s thefts were so brazen that the business manager eventually tried to sell him a building that Vick had bought with McFadden’s own money – which brought the scheme to an end.

McFadden seeks more than $15 million in damages from Ameriprise for negligence and breach of professional duty of care.

He is represented in both cases by Grant Fortson with Lax, Vaughan, Fortson, Rowe & Threet, of Little Rock.

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