SEC Charges Cambridge Capital Group Advisors with Defrauding NFL Players
Posted on Monday, September 16th, 2019 at 8:17 pm
In August 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged Tallahassee-based investment adviser firm Cambridge Capital Group Advisors, LLC (f/k/a Cambridge Capital Advisors, LLC); Cambridge’s president Phillip Timothy Howard, a Florida attorney who represented the retired players in the class action lawsuit; and Don Reinhard (CRD# 1605933), a former registered investment adviser previously barred by the SEC in January 2011, with defrauding 20 investors in two proprietary hedge funds operating out of Howard’s law offices. Most of the investors were retired NFL players who had joined a class-action lawsuit against the league claiming they suffered brain injuries as a result of concussions.
According to the SEC complaint, “the defendants advertised that the funds would invest in a variety of instruments, but unbeknownst to investors, in fact invested almost exclusively in settlement advance loans to more than 70 of Howard’s NFL class-action clients.”
It is alleged that Reinhard was represented to his existing and potential clients as an extremely successful investment manager. However, his past was disclosed, which involved jail time for bankruptcy and tax fraud, and the fact that he had previously been barred by the SEC. According to the SEC complaint, “The SEC further alleges that Howard defrauded investors by borrowing $612,000 in undisclosed personal mortgage loans from the funds, which he never repaid, and that Howard and Reinhard used investor funds to pay themselves fabricated ‘broker fees’ on settlement advance loans to Howard’s legal clients. Howard and Reinhard allegedly raised $4 million from the retired NFL players, about half of whom rolled over their NFL 401(k) accounts to the hedge funds.”
It is alleged that Howard and Reinhard used a significant portion of investor money for personal expenses.
Reinhard has been the subject of one customer complaint from 2014, according to his CRD report, in which the client was awarded $815,482.62 in damages.
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