The culmination of a comprehensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Money Laundering Squad, alongside the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations, has resulted in a significant prison sentence for Reginald Fowler. The 64-year-old entrepreneur from Arizona, who once proudly co-owned the prestigious Minnesota Vikings, a professional American football team, now faces 75 months behind bars. Getting involved in crypto fraud is no laughing matter.
The Hefty Price of Financial Misdeeds
Apart from the considerable prison sentence, Fowler has been handed a financial penalty that’s as significant as his contribution to the American football scene. The court has ordered him to pay a forfeiture of $74.02 million and a restitution payment of $5.31 million directed toward the Association of American Football (AAF). The AAF, a minor league with a brief tenure in the American football industry, suffered considerable losses due to Fowler’s misconduct.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Money Laundering and Transnational Criminal Enterprises Unit led the charge on this high-profile case. Under their watchful eye, the full extent of Fowler’s malfeasance gradually came to light.
Unauthorized Operation of a Multimillion-Dollar Crypto Exchange
Damian Williams, a U.S. Attorney’s Office representative for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), disclosed the intricate details of Fowler’s illicit operations in a public release. According to Williams, Fowler facilitated nearly $750 million worth of transactions for cryptocurrency exchanges. He played the role of a payment processor through his company, Global Trading Solution. However, his company operated without the requisite license for a money-transmitting business mandated by U.S. federal laws. The deceit did not stop there. Fowler also misled U.S. banking institutions throughout his operations.
To veil his company’s true nature, Fowler instructed others to incorporate deceptive details into wire transfer instructions, thereby manipulating banks. “In less than ten months, FOWLER processed approximately $750 million in cryptocurrency transactions in various currencies,” the official statement from the Attorney’s Office highlighted.
Duping the Association of American Football (AAF)
Fowler’s fraudulent activities extended into the world of American football, directly impacting the Association of American Football (AAF). He exploited his position as a significant stakeholder, misusing customers’ funds under the guise of personal wealth.
By deceiving AAF executives about the sources of his supposed liquid assets, Fowler significantly contributed to the financial crisis that led to AAF declaring bankruptcy in April 2019.