Former New York Cosmos goalkeeper Shep Messing and a New Jersey sports agent were indicted Monday on charges they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from professional athletes in a bogus investment scheme.
Several professional basketball players, including Darryl Dawkins, Kim Hughes, Mark Olberding, Ben Poquette and Al Skinner, were allegedly each cheated out of thousands of dollars in the scam that took in some $500,000 between 1987 and 1989, according to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
The 38-count indictment alleges that Messing, sports agent Harvey LaKind of Parsippany, N.J., and stockbroker Bruce Black of Wantaugh, N.Y., withdrew money from the accounts of LaKind's clients purportedly to make safe investments; and that, instead, they transferred the money to their own accounts for their personal use.
If convicted on all counts of the indictment, the defendants face up to 10 years in prison on each of the 21 counts of transporting stolen money between states. They face up to five years on each of several counts of conspiring to defraud their victims.