Legal Question in Investment Law in New Jersey

cash investment for pro sports

An attny. owns a pro sports agncy. A few investors made contributions. I contributed $80K. I asked for written records showing how monies were used. I was evaded.I asked for taxes done reflecting those investments. I have been evaded. A pro football player secretly told me the funds disappeared having been mishandled. i.e. spent inappropriately. The player is also co- owner of the pro sports mangt. co. w/ the attny.. I believe a 3rd partner is also an attny.. Can I sue for mis appropriation of the investment capital? Can I use the football player, co owner as my advocate? Who will take this case for me? I have maintained a conversation log book with my discussions regarding my money and the agency's activities, as I was told. I also kept logs of the player, co-owner's conversations w/ me as well. I was given taxes for yrs. other than my investment yr. A CPA reviewed the taxes & said they look suspicious. What is my recourse? HELP...

Asked on 5/09/07, 6:39 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Regina Mullen Legal Data Services, PLC

Re: cash investment for pro sports

[lawabby] You blew $80K without ANY prior protection or investigation? Wow![/lawabby]

But, seriously:

You need to act on it with a well-experienced lawyer (since fairly big money is involved) before any chance of recovering your money flies out the window.

You might have made a good investment that just didn't work out, or you might have been taken to the cleaners.

Since you seem to really be looking for information, not necessarily a return of your money, I strongly recommend mediating the dispute.

The reason is that this money was obviously not given in a structured way, so proving one thing or another in court might be difficult. Further, court may not be something not anyone wants to do.

Finally, it's hard for the court to get you the information you want without a solid reason,--you will get more satisfaction from agreement than from protracted battle (I suspect).

Mediation is confidential, mediators are absolutely neutral and mediators cannot be called as witnesses or break the "confessional", so long as there are no threats of violence, things like that. You can hire a lawyer, but you don't need one. Although at this level, it's probably a good idea. There are several nationally-known and highly-skilled mediators right there in NJ.

Neutrality doesn't mean that they have no opinion, it's just that their opinion doesn't matter and they should keep it to themselves unless both sides agree to hear it.

Sometimes, it helps to have a mediator-lawyer, but even if a mediator is a lawyer, s/he would better off getting an independent legal opinion prepared for the parties based on an agreed set of facts if the legal outcome becomes a real issue. Usually it doesn't matter what the law is, it's what the parties agree that matters. If a written agreement is the end product, great, but it doesn't have to be.

If the agency-owner-attorney(s) balk, then you're looking at a bar grievance (which might also get your investment returned to you) and/or a securities law violation investigation, but realistically, it might not do you much good if the money is gone.

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Answered on 5/13/07, 4:02 pm

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