Federal investigators say a financial adviser cheated San Francisco Giants pitcher Jake Peavy, Denver Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez and former Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt out of at least $30 million in a Ponzi-like scheme.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Tuesday that it obtained a court order freezing the assets of the investment adviser, Ash Narayan.
The order is part of an SEC lawsuit filed last month in Dallas federal court against Narayan, who hasn't been criminally charged.
According to Bloomberg, the SEC alleges that Narayan gained the trust of the athletes by appealing to their Christian faith and their desire to perform good works. He also falsely claimed to be a certified public accountant.
Instead of directing their earnings into low-risk investments, Narayan allegedly put the money into The Ticket Reserve, Inc., a struggling website designed to allow fans to reserve face value tickets to sporting events.
In all, authorities say, Narayan funneled more than $33 million of the athletes' money to The Ticket Reserve. In some cases, Narayan allegedly forged his clients' signatures.
"Mr. Narayan has worked cooperatively with the SEC from day one on this matter and is disappointed that the SEC chose to bring this action," Narayan's attorney, Howard Privette, said in a statement. "Mr. Narayan has always sought to act in his clients’ best interests. Accordingly, he will continue to work with the SEC to ensure that this matter is resolved in the most favorable manner for those clients."