Ex-Minnesota Vikings Owner Ensnared in Massive Bitcoin Scandal

Journalist:
Tedra DeSue @tedradesue
May 5, 2019

By CCN: One of bitcoin’s biggest scandals just keeps growing more bizarre, as reports now indicate that former Minnesota Vikings co-owner Reginald “Reggie” Fowler finds himself ensnared by the scheme.

The U.S. Justice Department charged Fowler – who also helped bootstrap the now-defunct Alliance of American Football – over his role in concocting a shadow banking scheme that entailed the processing of hundreds of millions of dollars of unregulated transactions on behalf of several cryptocurrency exchanges, as CCN reported.

One of those bitcoin exchanges – Bitfinex – allegedly misused the Tether cryptocurrency to conceal that it had lost access to an eye-popping $850 million in client and corporate funds, leading the New York Attorney General’s Office to initiate legal proceedings against the company.

Shadowy Financial Dealings Have Dogged Reggie Fowler Since Minnesota Vikings Days

Reggie Fowler attempted to become the majority owner of the Minnesota Vikings, but he settled for a minority stake. | Source: Shutterstock

It’s not the first time that Reggie Fowler has found his financial dealings the subject of legal controversy.

In 2005, Fowler attempted to buy the Minnesota Vikings, which would have made him the first African-American NFL team owner.

Almost immediately, questions began being raised about his finances, including more than 36 lawsuits that had been filed against him.

Back then, it was reported that most of the lawsuits were over unpaid bills racked up at several of the companies Fowler owned.

When confronted back then, Fowler reportedly said about the dozens of suits:

“We have several companies, and we have thousands of transactions that go through our companies each day. So as the normal course of business, this does happen.”

He even landed in hot water with the IRS over failing to pay taxes, according to Forbes. His financial issues quashed his majority stake hopes and he had to settle for having a limited partnership in the team.

Eventually, Fowler lost control of all his companies amid a debt of nearly $60 million, according to the Star Tribune. He also ended up relinquishing his limited partner stake in the Minnesota Vikings.

Later, he became the original investor in the Alliance of American Football (AAF) and may have contributed to the league’s untimely demise by failing to deliver the full $170 million he had promised to invest.

Lesson Learned for Bitcoin Investors?

Crypto investors should know by now they need to do their homework on the players involved in the nascent industry. Fowler’s information has been readily available through simple Google searches. Nevertheless, his shadowy dealings managed to fly under the radar, at least when it came to his role in the bitcoin exchange scandal.

Clearly, the lesson to learn here is: “do your due diligence.”

Last modified (UTC): May 5, 2019 15:19

Tedra DeSue @tedradesue

If you can buy it, trade it, invest in it, or sell it, I write about it. For more than 20 years, I've covered all things finance. Based in Atlanta, Ga., I threw myself into covering the crypto space with a keen understanding that it would be an industry disruptor. I'm in constant search for the real Satoshi Nakamoto!