A couple who got a heavy settlement following a car crash in 2013 sued former professional basketball star Elliott “Dale” Davis in a Georgia Magistrate’s Court, claiming he had them defrauded over $ 1.1 million under the pretext of serving as their investment advisor. .
According to a complaint Recently filed in Cobb County Superior Court, Davis, a former NBA All-Star who played center and power forward for the The Indiana Pacers, Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State Warriors and Detroit Pistons before retiring in 2007 used his position as financial consultant to defraud the couple by encouraging them to invest in several projects over a period of several years with very little return on their money.
Davis had said he had managed millions of dollars in investments for a range of sports figures, and at one point, plaintiffs Calvin and Chareka Cross were even taken to the site of alleged cannabis farms in Oregon. and Washington, ultimately investing over $ 116,000 to cover license fees. , rent and payroll for the project.
It was a “dog and pony show,” according to the complaint, and neither Davis nor a lawyer he allegedly worked with had any involvement in the properties or on a marijuana farm.
“He had given them these brochures on what the project would do, how they owned the property,” Jay Pontrelli said with Buckley Beal.
When the Crosses started asking questions, “all he said was, ‘Wait a little longer, if you try to walk away now, you’ll really regret it,'” said Pontrelli, who filed the complaint to his partner Andrew Beal.
“He is promoting himself as an investment advisor, but none of the investments he has made for our clients have ever made any money,” Beal said. “Not only did they see no return, but they lost the main one.”
Even now, Beal said, Davis continues to promise good returns on Crosses’ investments.
“When he got the notice that the lawsuit had been filed, he wrote them a text and said ‘this is a terrible mistake, everything is about to pay off,’ Beal said.“ We now know that most of the investments he suggested paid nothing and are no longer even viable investments. ”
The Daily Report was unable to reach Davis on Monday: a cell phone number went straight to a full voicemail account, and there was no apparent way to reach his company, Pro Players LLC.
Davis is also a member of the board of directors of a Kansas-based financial services firm, eMONEco Inc. In response to a question and a copy of the complaint, Chairman of the Board Donald Latson said he “Try to convey this information to the appropriate parties and investigate the matter ourselves”.
According to attorneys and the complaint, Chareka Cross first met Davis in 2013 while she was advertising for the NBA All-Star game in Houston and attended an investment seminar he led.
Davis told Cross that his company, PPL, manages investments for more than 100 current and former professional athletes.
In 2016, Calvin Cross, a truck driver, received a major settlement after being permanently disabled in a wreck.
Relatively unsophisticated and ending up with more money than they ever imagined, the Crosses turned to Davis.
He opened an investment account for them with a broker at Merrell Lynch, in which they deposited $ 1 million; he also recommended that they set up another loan account that “would act like a revolving line of credit,” according to the complaint.
Davis began recommending investment opportunities, but a few years later the Crosses would eventually find out that Davis had transferred $ 400,000 to another account he controlled. In 2019, they demanded the closure of accounts and the return of their money.
After deducting fees and expenses, the Crosses only recovered $ 30,000.
On another occasion in 2016, they invested $ 50,000 in a business, only to be told that its owner had “run away with his money,” according to the complaint.
That same year, they donated $ 100,000 to fund eMONEco, which was “about to launch”.
In return, they got a promissory note guaranteeing them $ 150,000 plus 14% annual interest.
They’ve never seen any of that money and are now owed almost a quarter of a million dollars on the note and interest.
They also loaned Davis’ company, PPL, $ 200,000 which has not been paid and now owes more than $ 310,000 with interest included.
Between 2018 and 2020, Davis made small payments totaling $ 58,000.
“These payments were made to induce and lull the plaintiffs into the false hope that their investments with the defendants were legitimate and sound, as well as to convince the plaintiffs that they were making real income from their investments and to simply ‘hang on’ a little longer “for the big pay,” the complaint said.
On March 31, the Crosses sued Davis and PPL for claims including breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud and fraudulent inducement, and punitive damages.
In total, the couple suffered actual damages of $ 1,124,986, according to their lawsuit.
Beal and Pontrelli said the litigation is still in its early stages and there may be further efforts to hold Davis and others responsible, including a possible investigation by the Financial Sector Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
“There’s a good chance it could grow bigger,” Beal said. “Because Mr. Davis was the trustee, he has more information than we do at this point.”