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Murder And Embarrassment: Portis, Duncan Face The Realities Of Unsavory Financial Advisers

Murder And Embarrassment: Portis, Duncan Face The Realities Of Unsavory Financial Advisers

At the end of the day, professional athletes are just that — professionals. Work is play, but play is also work, and most map out futures reliant on the fortunes they amass throughout their short, high-pressure careers.

So when their crooked wealth managers report depleted savings and failed investments, they redirect their hyper-focus and intense fitness to pursuits beyond the endzone. Like, say, murder.

Lost Fortune

Clinton Portis, former running back for the Washington Redskins, admitted that he had intended on numerous occasions to gun down one of the financial advisers who had consciously squandered part of his $43.1 million on poor and, in some cases, unauthorized investments.

Portis had lost an unknown but allegedly large chunk of his fortune — the security of his family’s future — on the deals. As his advisers would not return his calls and had little money to claim through legal action, Portis deemed murder suitable justice.

"It wasn't no ‘beat up,'" Portis told Sports Illustrated. "It was 'kill.'"

He ultimately abandoned the plot.

Portis is in good company among athletes swindled by financial advisers, although few channel their ire into violence. Tim Duncan, former San Antonio Spur, responded to his recent victimization with sheer embarrassment.

"Judge Biery, you may not understand how difficult it is for me to be in the public light in this horrible way — as the poster child for a dumb athlete whose financial adviser took his money," Duncan said during the wire fraud trial of his ex-financial adviser.

Charles Banks IV pleaded guilty in April to manipulating Duncan into lending a quarter of his $24.1 million to Gameday Entertainment, a failing sports entertainment company for which Banks earned commission.

On Wednesday, a federal judge awarded Duncan $7.5 million in restitution and committed Banks to a four-year prison sentence with a cap of 20 years. Duncan told the media the sentence was fair.

An Uncurbed Trend

Duncan and Portis represent a slew of professional athletes targeted by fraudulent advisers looking to capitalize on poor financial literacy.

“Their salaries are out there, so that’s public,” ESPN's Darren Rovell said Thursday on Good Morning America. “We know they’re coming from backgrounds where they’re not coming from money, and they don’t have the financial education, so people are going to go after them and say this is a way to get money quick, and unfortunately, these stories keep happening over and over again.”

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Image: Geoff Livingston, Flickr


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