Former Miami Dolphin Will Allen loses house, moves to hotel while he awaits sentencing

Will Allen
Former Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Allen stretches before a 2009 game. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

Just when Will Allen’s downward spiral seems like it can’t get any worse, it does: The former Miami Dolphins cornerback lost his Broward County home to foreclosure and has moved into a hotel.

Last month, Allen pleaded guilty to four federal felonies for running a Ponzi scheme. And despite signing NFL contracts totaling more than $30 million, Allen is broke. Allen pawned a Rolex and three other fancy watches to a Hollywood jewelry store. He’s out of jail only because former Dolphins teammate Vernon ­Carey wrote a $20,000 check to bail him out.

One of the conditions of his release from jail is that he can’t change his address. So his public defender this week sought a judge’s permission for Allen’s move. Wrote Allen’s attorney:

“Mr. Allen’s home in Davie was recently foreclosed on (12/8/2016) and he and his family have been asked to vacate the premises. Mr. Allen requests the permission of the Court to change his address to a local hotel called the Staybridge Suites, Ft. Lauderdale-Plantation, in Plantation. Unfortunately, the Allen family has no other option at this point and it is an emergency situation.”

The foreclosure means Allen can’t take advantage of Florida’s generous homestead protections.

Allen’s co-defendant, 56-year-old Susan Daub of Coral Springs, also pleaded guilty to four felonies.

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Read the SEC complaint.

Former Miami Dolphin Will Allen pleads guilty to running Ponzi scheme

Will Allen
Former Miami Dolphins cornerback Will Allen, shown stretching before a 2009 game. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

Will Allen, a former cornerback for the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins, has pleaded guilty to four federal felonies in connection with a Ponzi scheme he ran.

Allen, a 38-year-old Davie resident, admitted to two counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy and one count of money laundering. He’s scheduled to be sentenced in February.

Despite making $30 million in his NFL career, Allen told the judge in his case that he’s so broke he pawned his watches. He also leaned on a former Dolphins teammate for bail money.

Federal prosecutors accused Allen of committing 23 felonies in the course of running a Ponzi scheme. Allen made short-term, high-interest loans to athletes such as the NHL’s Jack Johnson. Prosecutors say he fabricated loans to raise money from investors.

Allen’s co-defendant, 56-year-old Susan Daub of Coral Springs, also pleaded guilty to four felonies.

See more coverage:

Former Dolphin Will Allen: New twist on pro athletes in the poor house

Loan sharking law rarely enforced in Florida

Will Allen stiffed Pro Player Funding on a high-interest loan in 2010. In 2012, he started a company making high-interest loans to pro athletes.

Allen calls Jack Johnson deadbeat, Johnson calls Allen loan shark.

Former Dolphin Bryant McKinnie also defaulted on high-interest loan.

Read the SEC complaint.

Will Allen calls Jack Johnson deadbeat, Johnson calls Allen loan shark

jack-johnsonIn a soap operatic financial saga, former NFL player Will Allen lost big on a loan to current NHL player Jack Johnson.

The loan plays a major role in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil suit, unsealed today, that accuses Allen of running a Ponzi scheme. Johnson, for his part, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last year.

Allen, a former Miami Dolphin who lives in Davie, was deposed last year in Palm Beach County as part of his lawsuit against Johnson. Allen said he began doing business with Johnson in 2012, during the NHL lockout.

Allen said he first loaned $250,000 to Johnson and charged his standard origination fee of 3 percent, or $7,500.

“I don’t remember him making any payments at all,” Allen said in the deposition.

Even so, Allen agreed to make a larger loan of $1.4 million to Johnson at a one-month interest rate of 12 percent — even though the financially troubled Johnson’s credit score had plunged 100 points.

“I kind of started, to be honest, feeling, not sorry, but like feeling like, you know, we can help him and we can make 12 percent,” Allen said. “I mean, why not, you know.”

During the deposition, Johnson’s attorney, Michael Furbush of Orlando, seized on the steep interest rate, which he said violates Florida’s usury law. After all, 12 percent in one month equates to 144 percent for the year, Furbush said.

“Do you understand that the rate being charged on the $1.4 million loan is illegal under Florida law?” Furbush asked.

“Don’t answer the question,” said Allen’s attorney, Mark Heinish of Boca Raton.

Florida’s usury statute limits annual interest rates to 18 percent on loans of $500,000 or less. For loans of more than $500,000, the maximum rate is 25 percent.

The SEC says the loan amount to Johnson later ballooned to $3.4 million — but Allen told investors the amount was $5.6 million.