- An ex-investor in the NFL’s Vikings and the Alliance of American Football, pleaded guilty to charges related to a $600 million crypto scheme.
- Reginald Fowler attempted to acquire the Vikings for $600 million in 2005 and invested millions in the defunct Alliance of American Football (AAF).
- Read more crime news here.
Reginald Fowler, the main original investor for the defunct Alliance of American Football (AAF) and former minority owner of the Minnesota Vikings, entered an “open plea” in Manhattan federal court last week and will plead guilty to wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and operate an unlicensed money-transmitting business.
Fowler was the alleged operator of Crypto Capital Corp., the shadow bank that lost hundreds of millions of crypto exchange Bitfinex’s money, according to CoinDesk.com.
The charges brought against him were in relation to a $600 million cryptocurrency scheme.
At the time of his arrest, it was reported that Reginald Fowler had been charged with bank fraud and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. He was also operating “shadow banking services” that misrepresented money transfers and avoided international “anti-money laundering verification services.”
Prosecutors alleged that Reginald Fowler told banks he was opening accounts for real estate transactions, but was actually making unregulated transactions worth hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of multiple cryptocurrency exchanges.
Front Office Sports reports…
Fowler initially planned to plead not guilty following his arrest in April 2019 but changed his stance after facing a maximum of 90 years in prison. He later rescinded an offer in January 2020 from prosecutors that included a guilty plea to a single count, but required him to forfeit up to $371 million.
After Fowler refused to accept the deal, federal authorities added more charges.
Fowler, who played one season at linebacker for the Arizona Wranglers in the original USFL, originally committed $170 million to the AAF in 2019, but ended up investing just $28 million in the league before it folded.
Reginald Fowler’s financial dealings had raised suspicion for almost two decades
He also attempted to acquire the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings for $600 million in 2005, but failed to come up with the money and withdrew his bid when he could not provide details about his stake in the ownership group. Instead, he settled for becoming a minority owner in the team until 2014 when he lost control of all his companies amid a debt of nearly $60 million.
Fowler, who claimed no taxable income for 2005 – the year he tried to buy the Vikings – said he had assets of more than $400 million when the Vikings were eventually sold to an ownership group led by Zygi Wilf.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported back in 2014…
Fowler’s Arizona holding company, Spiral Inc., held more than 100 businesses, though many were dormant or were created for deals that never materialized, the Arizona Republic reported.
Fowler played college football at Wyoming, but on his biography when he attempted to buy the Vikings he also claimed to have played in the Little League World Series, which turned out to be false. He also asserted he played professional football in the U.S. and Canada and to have gotten a business degree from Wyoming; those claims were also disproved.
Incredibly, this was the same man the Alliance of American Football first leaned on for financial support when it began in 2019, but ended up as the defendant in multiple class action lawsuits before it could complete its first season.