Christian Athletes Defrauded in Ponzi-like Scheme

Josh Luckenbaugh | June 22, 2016
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NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez will always be remembered for the infamous "Butt Fumble" against the New England Patriots in 2012, but it appears this on-the-field miscue is far from his worst mistake. Sanchez, and two other notable Christian athletes, were the victims of a Ponzi-like scheme, resulting in the defraudment of around $30 million. 

According to a Bloomberg report released on Tuesday, "Sanchez, and major league baseball pitchers Jake Peavy and Roy Oswalt were defrauded out of about $30 million, according to a recently unsealed U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit in Dallas federal court. The athletes all used the same broker, Ash Narayan [...]. The adviser gained their trust through religion and their interest in charitable works, the SEC said."

The report goes to say that while "all three athletes sought low-risk, conservative investment strategies [...]. Narayan ignored their requests and instead invested" heavily in his own financially downtrodden company, The Ticket Reserve Inc, or TTR. Narayan "was on the company's board of directors, owned more than 3 million shares and was its primary fundraiser -- raising more than 90 percent of its investment capital." Can someone say "conflict of interest?"

Sanchez, Peavy, and Oswalt's Christian faith became the avenue through which Narayan gained access to their wallets. Sanchez met Narayan at church in 2009. Narayan earned his trust before eventually taking around $7 million from the quarterback, who is currently with the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. 

Peavy, now with the San Francisco Giants, lost the most of the three due to Narayan's mischievous scheme:

"The vast majority of Peavy's personal wealth -- about $15 million -- was invested in the ticket company without his authorization," according to Bloomberg. "Peavy [...] said he trusted Narayan because he was a certified public accountant, which wasn't true, and because he was very involved in charitable causes including churches overseas. Peavy said he last spoke with Narayan in March, and was promised he'd get all his money back. He said he's yet to receive any of the funds used to invest in TTR."

What a weaselly plan, taking money from people who probably wanted to give it to an actually decent cause. And I think the Bible says something about lying and stealing, doesn't it?