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NFL Star Says Adviser Cost Him $3.8 Million

DENTON, Texas (CN) - Former Dallas Cowboys fullback Walt Garrison says his advisers duped him and his ex-wife into buying risky Auction Rate Securities that cost them $3.8 million when the market collapsed.

The Garrisons claim that James Montgomery, a friend of the couple and Walt's former teammate, misrepresented ARS as the "equivalent of cash" and suitable for conservative investors.

The couple sued Montgomery and his employer, Oppenheimer & Co., in Denton County Court, alleging negligence and securities fraud.

The Garrisons say Montgomery neglected to tell them that the value of ARS is tied to regular auctions that could fail. That's what happened in February 2008, "stranding" the couple with $3.8 million of worthless securities, according to the lawsuit.

Garrison and his ex-wife, Debbie Garrison, a former Miss Rodeo America, characterize themselves as conservative and unsophisticated investors who relied upon Montgomery's advice. They say Montgomery advised them from 2003 until 2008, and continued to work with both even after their 2005 divorce.

The Garrisons want their money back and punitive damages.

Garrison played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1966 to 1974, and rode the rodeo circuit in the off season. He was for many years the spokesman for Skoal snuff.

The Garrisons are represented by Thomas Graves with McKool Smith in Dallas.

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