BUFFALO, N.Y. (Feb. 21, 2007) -- Buffalo Bills cornerback Terrence McGee filed a lawsuit accusing his former financial adviser of funneling more than $1 million into unauthorized investments.
The player's Buffalo-based lawyer, David Sampson, accused Craig Curry of misappropriating the funds between November 2005 and last September, shortly after McGee signed a four-year contract extension that included a $5 million bonus.
Curry said the lawsuit was baseless.
The suit, filed in Harris County District Court in Texas, also alleged that McGee's former agent, Terry Bolar, and current Washington Redskins assistant coach, Jerry Gray, conspired in the scheme and had opportunity to benefit from it by introducing McGee to Curry.
Sampson told The Associated Press that Bolar and Gray, the Bills defensive coordinator through 2005, should have warned McGee that Curry was not licensed to represent NFL players and that both were also aware of Curry's past criminal record. Bolar said he did not have any type of relationship with Curry.
Curry was convicted in 1996 of defrauding John Copeland by using the former NFL player's credit line to transfer money to buy a car for Florida State football player, Corey Sawyer.
The NFL Players Association requires financial advisers to be licensed by the union and bars convicted felons from representing players.
Curry said he had McGee's written authorization to make the investments. Bolar said he was unaware of the player's financial dealings. He also said it was Gray that introduced McGee to Curry.
Gray, who joined the Redskins prior to last season, was not available for comment because his phone number is not listed. Messages left with a team spokesman and Gray's last known agent, Gary O'Hagan, were not returned.
Sampson said about $450,000 of McGee's money was invested into an unknown land development project in the Dominican Republic. Another $600,000 was invested into Corporate Community Inc. -- what McGee understood to be a computer software development firm based in Austin, Texas, Sampson said.
Sampson also accused Curry of forging McGee's signature to complete some of the investments.
McGee, who is now represented by Ron Raccuia, fired Bolar a year ago and fired Curry in September after discovering his money was missing.
No criminal charges have been filed.
Curry and Bolar both laughed off the lawsuit.
"That's funny, man. That's very funny, stealing money," Bolar said. "There's no truth to that at all."
George Hawthorne, CEO of Bolar's firm, Prestige Sports, called McGee's lawsuit "laughable," adding Bolar has never traveled to the Dominican.
He said the player's lawsuit is in response to a financial dispute Bolar has with McGee that is currently before an NFLPA arbitrator.
Bolar accuses McGee of shortchanging him after negotiating the 2005 contract. Bolar said McGee paid him one percent of the signing bonus when he was owed three percent.
McGee said he was intending to fire Bolar prior to the deal being reached, but the two sides agreed to the one percent deal prior to the contract being signed.
Sampson said Gray took special interest in urging McGee to keep Bolar as his agent, at one point pulling McGee out of a team meeting during the 2005 season to caution him against firing Bolar. On another occasion, Gray had already been hired by the Redskins when he called McGee advising him not to hire Raccuia, Sampson said.
The suit was filed in Texas because that's where McGee and Curry live.