A former part-owner of the Minnesota Vikings has been sentenced to prison.
Reginald Fowler defrauded the Alliance of American Football in a $700 million cryptocurrency scam and was sentenced Monday to over six years in prison.
The 64-year-old was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to six years and three months in prison and was ordered to forfeit $740 million and pay restitution of $53 million.
The Alliance of American Football only lasted one season in 2018 before declaring bankruptcy with liabilities of $48 million while only having roughly $536,000 in cash.
Prosecutors claimed Fowler lied to league leaders when he claimed to have bank accounts containing tens of millions of dollars from real estate assets and government contracts that he could use to support the league.
He attempted to purchase the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League in 2005, becoming a minority owner before his affiliation with the team ended in 2014.
According to US Attorney Damian Williams, Fowler violated the law by processing hundreds of millions of dollars in unregulated transactions on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges that were utilized as a shadow bank.
“He did so by lying to legitimate U.S. financial institutions, which exposed the U.S. financial system to serious risk,” Williams said. “He then victimized a professional football league by lying about his net worth in exchange for a substantial portion of the league.”
Defense lawyer Edward Sapone would later state that Fowler was heartbroken that he let himself engage in crimes after over six decades of extraordinary contributions to family and community.
“Reggie is extremely remorseful,” Sapone wrote. “The American Football League didn’t benefit from the investment that Reggie had planned to make. Reggie’s bank accounts were frozen, he could not secure the investment money, and he was not able to invest the large sum of money he promised to invest.”
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