By Bradd MiloveWhen NBA star Kris Humphries wed reality television icon Kim Kardashian earlier this year, many regarded the lavish ceremony as the celebrity wedding of the century. But now, after only months of marriage, Kardashian has already filed for divorce; and Humphries suddenly finds himself the victim not only of unwanted divorce proceedings, but also of alleged investment fraud at the hands of one-time wedding guest Andrey C. Hicks.
CBS News, Humphries accused Hicks of costing him hundreds of thousands of dollars after falsely representing his professional credentials and convincing the NBA player and others to invest a total of $1.7 million in a fictitious hedge fund. The Securities and Exchange Commission reports that Hicks lied about his business experience, telling Humphries that he held a Harvard degree and worked for Barclays Capital. After a thorough investigation into the supposed hedge fund, the SEC has found Hicks guilty of weaving a “brazen web of lies to investors.” He is now reportedly under arrest with pending charges of wire fraud, and likely to faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.
Unfortunately, Hicks is neither the first nor the last fraudulent investment promoter to prey upon young, talented and wealthy individuals like Humphries. In fact, Humphries is merely the latest in a series of high-profile targets – including fellow sports stars Terrell Davis, Sheryl Swoopes, Scottie Pippen and, most recently, NFL quarterback Mark Brunell -- to suffer heavy financial losses after succumbing to dishonest investment advice. Many of these athletes are experts in their fields when it comes to defense -- but in the realm of investment management, inexperience and blind reliance on purported experts is a proven route to the poor house. In order to reverse this trend, inexperienced investors must be defensive before parting with hard earned funds, and conduct a thorough investigation of their potential advisors and proposed ventures before taking big chances on risky investment decisions.
The pitfalls of youth, fame and fortune – and how to avoid becoming a victimProfessional athletes, reality television stars and pop icons tend to have a number of enviable traits in common, such as youth, beauty, fame and ready money. However, they also often share an Achilles heel in the form of woeful inexperience when it comes to money management. Together with the prevalence of investment cons, commission-influenced investment advice and familiar persuasion, this failing all too often leads to disaster in the form of misguided or downright deceptive investment decisions – and subsequently, the irrevocable loss of millions.
San Diego investment attorneys, we strongly suggest that anyone considering a major financial commitment – be they celebrity or otherwise – remain skeptical of investment opportunities that appeal to emotional bias or “guarantee” steep returns, and focus instead on seeking out sound investments with the guidance of a registered professional. All investors should first refer to regulatory
FINRAguidelines online, and investigate the history and credentials of any investment advisor before relying on their claims alone. For those who have already found themselves the victims of investment fraud, the best recourse is to contact a qualified investment fraud lawyer. To learn more, visit us online: