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Report: Feds look into $18M scam involving NFL, NBA players

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Joe Haden is one of the athletes reportedly beat by a bad investment. (USATSI)
Joe Haden (right) is one of several athletes reportedly beat by a bad investment. (USATSI)

A federal investigation into an $18 million investment scam has spilled over into the world of sports, and investigators are reportedly seeking to speak with multiple NFL and NBA players.

Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports reported Wednesday that multiple big-name athletes have spoken with or are being asked to speak with the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI and/or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about their ties to Jade Management, which had an investment into Success Trade.

49ers tight end Vernon Davis, Browns cornerback Joe Haden, former Redskins running back Clinton Portis, ex-Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye and Pistons point guard Brandon Knight were specifically named in Getlin's report as athletes who purchased promissory notes from Success Trade.

Per Getlin, Success Trade is under investigation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for "selling $18 million in fraudulent and unregistered promissory notes" to 58 people, including the athletes named above.

A FINRA report obtained by Yahoo! indicates these athletes were "introduced to the fradulent notes" from Success through Jade's representatives.

"Jade Management founder Jinesh "Hodge" Brahmbhatt told Yahoo! Sports his firm had more than 30 athletes who purchased high interest investments that FINRA now says were fraudulent," Getlin writes. "Some of those investments purportedly generated interest returns between 11 and 26 percent."

And the news coming out of the investigation doesn't sound good for the athletes who invested.

"We have told [Success Trade CEO Fuad Ahmed] that what is most important is getting you paid back," Brahmbhatt wrote in an email to athletes, per Yahoo!. "We believe that this is what he is trying to do. It is not clear whether he will be able to accomplish this, given the FINRA action and a number of other hurdles."

Brahmbhatt told Yahoo! that he hopes "nobody says, 'the guys at Jade capitalized on this,'" and that he was "[expletive] devastated" by the results of the investment and the resulting investigation.

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