Minnesota Vikings Co-Owner Convicted in $700M Cryptocurrency Scam.
A former co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, Reginald Fowler, has been found guilty by the Manhattan federal court of a $700 million cryptocurrency scam.
According to the Washington Post, Fowler, who is 64 years old, defrauded the Alliance of American Football (AAF), a now-defunct professional football league, with a fraudulent investment in cryptocurrency.
The US Attorney’s Office in New York has announced that the Arizona-based businessman will serve a 75-month prison sentence. Additionally, he will have to forfeit $740 million and pay restitution of $53 million.
Fowler’s Criminal Charges
In 2005, Red McCombs, the owner of the Minnesota Vikings, announced the proposed sale of the team to Fowler in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
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According to the report, Fowler attempted to buy the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings in 2005 and became the team’s minority owner before his involvement ended in 2014.
The AAF shut down in 2019 after suddenly going bankrupt and could no longer sustain its operations.
Before the shutdown, Fowler lied to the league’s executives, claiming he could support the AAF with fat bank accounts holding millions of dollars from real estate investments and government contracts.
But Prosecutors charged the 64-year-old Folwer with bank fraud and money laundering.
He allegedly carried out the scheme involving over $700 million in unregulated transactions over ten months in 2018
Attorney Damian Williams, the prosecuting lawyer, said that Fowler violated the law by processing millions of dollars in unregulated transactions on behalf of crypto exchanges used as shadow banks.
“He did so by lying to legitimate US financial institutions, which exposed the US financial system to serious risk,” said attorney Williams.
“He then victimized a professional football league by lying about his net worth in exchange for a substantial portion of the league,” the lawyer added.
Defense lawyer Edward Sapone wrote in a sentence submission that Fowler is remorseful for allowing himself to engage in crimes after over 60 years of service to the community and family.
“Reggie is extremely remorseful,” wrote attorney Sapone.”The American 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 could not invest the large sum of money he promised to invest,” Sapone explained in the submission.
Fowler’s Alleged Criminal Activities
Fowler’s sentence marks the end of the multi-year-long case that started with his arrest in 2019 for allegedly involving in shadow bank transactions.
According to prosecutors, Fowler initiated bank-like transactions using crypto exchanges to pose as banks.
The crypto exchange involved in Fowler’s shadow banking activities was Crypto Capital Corp.
The crypto exchange facilitates transactions for cryptocurrency startups outside the traditional banking system.
It is worth noting that Fowler pleaded not guilty to the charges in 2020 but changed his plea in April 2022.
Williams revealed that Fowler executed several criminal activities by establishing Global Trading Solutions (GTS) in February 2018.