The former owner of the Minnesota Vikings, a popular American football team, has been sentenced to six years and three months in prison for fraud. That reports a press release of the United States Attorney’s Office (USAO). Reggie Fowler, now 63, processed $750 million in unrecorded transactions in ten months.
Shadow banking for crypto exchanges
According to the USAO report, the former NFL league owner engaged in “shadow banking.” For several months, Fowler was an illegal banker for several Israeli crypto exchanges. These Israeli companies promoted themselves as an easy way to convert fiat currency to crypto. However, banks are very reluctant to cooperate with such companies.
To pull this off, these companies hired Fowler. Fowler founded the company Global Trading Solutions LLC (GTS) to work with the companies. Then Fowler lied about his intentions to open several accounts with a number of US banks. Those accounts were used by the Israeli crypto companies for their transactions without the banks knowing.
Former co-owner of Minnesota Vikings sentenced to 75 months in prison for providing shadow banking services to cryptocurrency exchangeshttps://t.co/Nc2PVhEajw
— U.S. Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) June 5, 2023
According to the report, Fowler handled about $750 million in unrecorded transactions. To cover up the transactions, Fowler gave instructions to have the transactions executed under false names. The victims of his illegal practices are not only banks and other financial institutions. Also the AAFa professional minor league of American Football, fell prey to Fowler’s fraud.
AAF minor league ripped off
The report says that Fowler lied about his net worth in order to secure a large investment stake in the league. He designated the money from the illegal transactions as his own money to defraud the minor league. He did this without consulting the companies he was shadow banking for. When Fowler could not live up to the large investment share, the AAF (partly due to other factors) filed for bankruptcy. According to the report, Fowler was sentenced to 75 months in prison in addition to a fine of $740,249,140.52. He must also pay $53,189,261.80 in damages to the AAF.