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August 10, 2016

SEC charges former Philadelphia Eagle linebacker in alleged Ponzi scheme

Courts Philadelphia Eagles
Courts File Art/for PhillyVoice


Former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Merrill Robertson Jr. was charged Wednesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for defrauding investors and using $6 million of the $10 million invested in Cavalier Union Investments LLC to pay for personal expenses, according to a release issued by the agency.

Sherman C. Vaughn Jr., a co-founder of Cavalier Union Investments, a private investment firm, also was charged by the SEC.

Both Robertson and Vaughn are from Chesterfield, Virginia, officials said.

“Our complaint alleges that Robertson and Vaughn preyed on elderly victims and others who placed their trust in these individuals, only to have their savings stolen,” said Sharon B. Binger, director of the SEC’s Philadelphia Regional Office. “We will continue to aggressively pursue fraudsters who exploit their relationship of trust with victims and promise returns that appear to be too good to be true.” 

Robertson, 36, and Vaughn allegedly targeted the elderly and coaches, donors, alumni, and employees of schools Robertson had attended — namely Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Virginia, the SEC said.

“According to the complaint, the defendants claimed that Cavalier had investment funds operated by experienced investment advisers when it did not have any funds or investment advisers and was functionally insolvent shortly after it was formed,” the release states. “The complaint further alleges that Cavalier’s only investments were in restaurants that had all failed by 2014, something the defendants never disclosed as they continued soliciting and accepting investors’ money.”

Robertson competed for a starting spot for the Virginia Cavaliers football team at inside linebacker during the 2001 season, according to biographical information on the university’s website.

According to The Reading Eagle, Robertson made the training camp roster for the Birds in 2003, but never saw any game action, according to Pro-Football-Reference. 

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