Who’s Your Financial Advisor? Dallas Cowboys’ Darren McFadden Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit

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Darren McFadden - Image via Star Telegram

Former Arkansas Razorback and current Dallas Cowboys’ Running Back, Darren McFadden filed a lawsuit Friday in Little Rock, Arkansas against Ameriprise Financial Services Inc., the company his former financial advisor worked for.  This will be McFadden’s second lawsuit against his former business manager and financial advisor, Michael Vick (not the former NFL player of the same name). The Running Back is suing American Financial Services for misappropriating millions of dollars as well as mishandling their duties and demanding $15 million.

McFadden was drafted fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders in 2008 and joined the Dallas Cowboys in March 2015.  According to his lawsuit, two days after making his NFL debut with the Oakland Raiders, Vick used fraudulent documents to gain power of attorney over his finances and later fabricated fictitious financial records to hide what he was doing.

“Rather than securing for Plaintiff a lifetime of financial security as Defendant Vick promised Plaintiff, Defendant Vick covertly used Plaintiff’s income as his personal slush fund to subsidize his own lifestyle and expenses and to invest in his own projects,” the lawsuit said.

In an interview with Dallas Morning News Darren McFadden told the newspaper that Vick was “an old family friend that we knew growing up forever and ended up trusting him to do my finances and it didn’t work out right for me.  The young athlete said, “It’s just one of those deals with me as a young guy I wasn’t on top of my finances like I should have been and I trusted somebody to take care of everything for me and I don’t feel like at the time he had my best interest.”

According to the lawsuit, Vick told McFadden he needed to be “further empowered” to help the player avoid the “financial disasters that tend to flow from unsound spending habits, poor management, or speculative financial advice.” On Thursday, Vick told The Associated Press that he hadn’t seen the lawsuit and declined to comment immediately.

The lawsuit said Darren McFadden revoked Vick’s financial power of attorney early this year and on Thursday, McFadden said he fired Vick about six to seven months ago.

It is very important for new athletes to put their financial power of attorney in the experienced and ethical hands. Unfortunately, sometimes you can’t even trust those who are closest to you.

The power of attorney or POA is a legal document that authorizes someone to act on your behalf. The person who gives the authority is called the principal, and the person who has the authority to act for the principal is called the agent or the attorney-in-fact.  A financial power of attorney is a particular type of POA that authorizes someone to act on your behalf in financial matters. Many states have an official financial power of attorney form.

If you are a young athlete be very careful as to who you trust with your finances. People do crazy things for money, so make sure the person has your best interest in mind at all times.  Often, it’s best to get recommendations from colleagues who are already successful.  Your money is too important to test out with potentially unscrupulous associates.

The first lawsuit against Vick is scheduled for trial in April 2018.

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