A former minority owner of the Minnesota Vikings is going to jail and paying some heavy fines after being caught up in a crypto scam.
Sports Illustrated reports that Reginald Fowler has been sentenced to 75 months in prison for cryptocurrency fraud. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York says Fowler violated federal anti-money laundering laws and has to forfeit $740 million and pay restitution of $53 million after he was found with more than $700 million in “unregulated transactions.”
The Arizona native also allegedly lied to banks to process the transactions and “defrauded” the Alliance of American Football when he bought an ownership stake in the league, all while lying about his net worth.
Prosecutors found Fowler started a company called Global Trading Solutions in 2018 that worked with Crypto Capital, allowing cryptocurrency exchanges for cash. Attorneys accused him of opening several accounts at different United States banks by falsely claiming they were for real estate investment transactions. “At no point were Fowler, GTS, nor any of the Crypto Companies ever licensed as a money transmitting business in the United States, as required by federal law,” the attorney’s office said.
Prosecutors felt a seven-year sentence was appropriate as Fowler played a “critical role in a serious criminal enterprise.” The former NFL investor was remorseful when he appeared in court. “I’m very sorry, I’m very remorseful, I’m very sad,” Fowler said to U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr., Bloomberg reports. He pleaded with the judge to reconsider prison time. “If you give me the opportunity to show you I can do right, I will.”
Since Fowler isn’t a flight risk to the public, Judge Carter allowed him to surrender to prison in 21 days, even though prosecutors requested that he be taken into custody immediately. This will give him time to get his affairs in order, including someone to care for his dog.