Former professional football player Merrill Robertson Jr. is charged with defrauding investors, including coaches he knew from his past, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.
Robertson, who played for the Philadelphia Eagles, and a business partner, Sherman Vaughn, are both charged in a complaint filed in federal court in Richmond, Virginia.
Robertson and Vaugh, co-owners of Cavalier Union Investments, promised to invest in diversified holdings but diverted nearly $6 million of the more than $10 million they raised from investors to pay for personal expenses and used other funds to repay earlier investors, according to the SEC complaint.
The men, both residents of Chesterfield, Virginia, allegedly lied about the unregistered debt securities they sold, saying they would yield as much as 20 percent "while providing safety and security for our investors."
Cavalier's only investments were in restaurants that had all failed by 2014, something the defendants never disclosed as they continued soliciting and accepting investors' money, the SEC said in a release. The scheme allegedly targeted seniors and coaches, donors, alumni and employees of schools Robertson had attended.