Retired Ravens middle linebacker Ray Lewis is among a group of 16 current and former NFL players who are suing BB&T Bank for nearly $60 million in alleged investment losses.
The Baltimore Sun has obtained a copy of the lawsuit, which was first reported by Yahoo! Sports. The lawsuit alleges that Lewis, a two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year who retired following the Ravens' Super Bowl XLVII victory in February, lost $3.778 million.
Lewis' agent, David Dunn, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
In addition to Lewis, former Ravens linebacker Tavares Gooden allegedly lost $515,000 through an unauthorized bank transfer, according to the lawsuit.
Several NFL players are accusing the bank of allowing disgraced financial advisor Jeff Rubin and his former firm, Pro Sports Financial, to open accounts in their names and place tens of millions of dollars in unauthorized investments. The majority of the money went to a failed casino bingo project in Alabama that was deemed illegal under Alabama law in July of 2012.
“This didn’t happen at BB&T,” BB&T vice president of corporate communications David White said. “Unfortunately, we inherited the responsibility for it when we acquired BankAtlantic [in 2012]. Because this is pending litigation, we cannot comment further.”
Rubin, whose firm provided financial-related services to professional athletes, has since been banned from the securities industry.
The other NFL players who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit and the money allegedly lost by each individual includes: former Atlanta Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson ($5.813 million), former St. Louis Rams and Tennessee Titans offensive guard Jacob Bell $3.339 million), former wide receiver Derrick Gaffney (2.295 million), San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore ($1.6 million), New York Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes ($1.159 million), linebacker Greg Jones $2.006 million), former Titans and Philadelphia Eagles defensive end Jevon Kearse ($7.958 million), former Washington Redskins defensive end Kenard Lang ($1.648 million), Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather ($3.645 million), Redskins wide receiver Santana Moss ($4.852 million), former Redskins running back Clinton Portis ($3.136 million), former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Lito Sheppard ($5.011 million), former Jacksonville Jaguars and New England Patriots running back Fred Taylor ($2.993 million) and former Cleveland Browns and Patriots defensive tackle Gerard Warren ($3 million).
The lawsuit alleges that the bank developed a "close business relationship with Pro Sports, Rubin and other Pro Sports employees," including a special division "dedicated to targeting and servicing athletes and others in the sports industry,"
According to the lawsuit, Pro Sports deposited tens of millions of dollars of the plaintiffs' money in accounts opened and maintained in the plaintiffs' names with "illegitimate accounts that were opened with signature cards containing signatures that were forged by Pro Sports’ employees."
"After the monies were deposited, BB&T allowed numerous unusual, suspicious and extraordinary withdrawals from accounts opened in the name of each plaintiff that were neither within the scope of the service identified in the client services agreement nor authorized by the plaintiff in whose name the account was opened," the lawsuit alleges. "BB&T had actual knowledge that certain transactions on the plaintiffs’ accounts were unauthorized and exceeded the scope of the plaintiffs’ client service agreements with Pro Sports."
Former Ravens cornerback Duane Starks also had a relationship with Rubin’s firm.