Bilked by man who said he'd market McFadden? Print
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Thursday, 24 April 2008 12:37
NFL Headline News

 LITTLE ROCK (AP) -An Arkansas woman says she was defrauded by a man who claimed he needed money to help a marketing company secure football star Darren McFadden.
B.J. White filed suit in Pulaski County Circuit Court on Thursday, alleging a man named Kristian Nelson bilked her out of over $180,000 - much of which she thought would go toward a company called ``501 Marketing, LLC'' that would provide marketing and promotions for McFadden and former Arkansas teammate Felix Jones. The suit makes no claim that McFadden engaged in any wrongdoing.
Nelson has been awaiting trial on a separate wire fraud indictment.
``Nelson repeatedly represented to White that he needed money to pay, among others, McFadden and his family members, as well as Jones, in return for their ultimately signing an exclusive marketing and promotional agreement with 501,'' the suit says. ``Nelson represented to White that he paid these individuals many thousands of dollars from October 1, 2007, through April, 2008.''
The suit does not allege that McFadden, Jones or their families actually received any of the money - or that the athletes have any business relationship with Nelson.
Nelson, through his attorney, said he did not make payments to the athletes and denied some of the claims in the suit.
``Kristian wanted me to tell you that there were no payments that were made to any athlete, and that he did not make these representations to Ms. White that appear in the complaint, that that's what he was doing with funds,'' attorney Jack Lassiter told The Associated Press. ``That he and Ms. White did have this business, 501 Marketing, and they hoped to at some point represent some athletes in the future - but there were no payments made to any athletes, and that he knew that was prohibited and therefore didn't do it. That's what he wanted me to pass on.''
Jesse Gibson, a lawyer for White, said he couldn't say for sure what eventually happened to White's money.
``What I feel confident in saying is that there were transfers of funds under the auspices of this corporation from Ms. White to Kristian Nelson,'' Gibson said. ``Now, what exactly happened, dollar for dollar, to that money, once that transfer occurred, I just don't know for sure right now. And I probably will not get a great handle on that until we get a little bit into the lawsuit.''
McFadden and Jones have both declared for this weekend's NFL draft, and McFadden is expected to be one of the first players chosen. Mike Conley, who represents McFadden, said he wasn't aware of the lawsuit.
Scott Varady, a lawyer for the University of Arkansas, said the suit doesn't involve the school.
``They're not alleging that certain events actually occurred, they're alleging that statements were made in order to entice the plaintiff to invest money with this individual and his companies,'' Varady said. ``I think any conclusions are premature at this point. We'll certainly monitor this case and review the allegations as necessary.''
White says Nelson approached her last October about investing in 501 Marketing, claiming he was a confidant and friend of several college and pro athletes.
``He further represented to her that, based on these relationships, he could enter into contractual agreements with said athletes to provide marketing and promotional services related to their professional athletic careers,'' the suit says.
White says she paid Nelson more than $125,000 from Oct. 1 until this month.
``Ultimately, White expressed skepticism over Nelson's purported dealings with the stated athletes and the lack of any cash flow or documented evidence of the relationships as stated by Nelson,'' the suit says.
The suit also says she loaned Nelson over $57,000 between March 2006 and September 2007, when he ``began requesting loans from White for various costs and expenses associated with various construction projects and investments that he was doing.''
White is seeking more than $183,000 in damages.
 

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