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Coleman drops out of suit against NFL

ATLANTA (July 14, 2006) -- Marco Coleman dropped his name from a lawsuit filed by seven current and former players suing the NFL and its players union to recoup $20 million they lost in an alleged fraud scheme.

An amended complaint was filed that dropped Coleman from the list of plaintiffs. It's not clear from the amended complaint why Coleman dropped out. The players still listed as plaintiffs are Steve Atwater, Ray Crockett, Al Smith, Blaine Bishop, Carlos Emmons and Clyde Simmons.

The new complaint also lists two new defendants, "ABC Corp." and "XYZ Corp." The suit describes those entities as "John Doe" companies whose true names are unknown to the plaintiffs, but which were supposed to perform certain background checks for the NFL and NFLPA.

The suit claims the union endorsed the services of an investment firm even though its manager had liens against him.

In the lawsuit, the players said the league and the NFLPA are liable for the losses because of investments with hedge fund manager Kirk Wright.

Wright was arrested in Miami Beach in May on federal fraud charges. He also faces a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against him and his company, International Management Associates.

According to authorities, Wright and his company collected as much as $185 million from at least 500 investors since 1997 and misled some of them to believe the value of those investments was increasing using false statements and documents. Much of that money is now missing.

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