SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 17358 / February 11, 2000
United States v. William H. Black, James A. Franklin, Jr., Alfred Twitty, Linda Wilson and Lisa Adams, No. 1:00CR15 SPM (N.D. Fla.)
PROFESSIONAL SPORTS AGENT WILLIAM H. "TANK" BLACK FOUND GUILTY IN PARALLEL CRIMINAL TRIAL
On January 31, 2002, a jury sitting before the Hon. Stephan P. Mickle in United States District Court in the Northern District of Florida (Gainesville Division) found William H. "Tank" Black, a former sports agent, guilty of conspiring to commit mail fraud, commit wire fraud, defraud the United States, and obstruct the SEC's investigation. Black faces up to 25 years in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 6, 2002. The jury deliberated for about six hours before returning its verdict.
The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida prosecuted Black for the same conduct that underlies a civil enforcement action brought by the Commission against Black and others in United States District Court in the Middle District of Florida. The Commission's lawsuit, filed in February 2000 and later stayed pending resolution of the criminal case, alleges that Black and his sports agency business, Professional Management, Inc., defrauded nearly two dozen athlete-clients of millions of dollars they entrusted to Black for investment purposes. The Commission alleged that Black made materially false and misleading statements and omissions in inducing his clients to invest and skimmed millions of dollars from their investments in undisclosed commissions and other "fees." The Commission obtained an asset freeze, temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against Black and others, which remain in effect.
The guilty verdict for obstructing the Commission's investigation came after evidence was presented to the jury that Black lied under oath in his SEC testimony, produced fabricated documents to the SEC and failed to produce numerous other documents in response to Commission subpoenas.
For further information about the Commission's action against Black, see Litigation Release No. 16455 (February 25, 2000).