Legal Issues

Ex-Morgan Stanley Advisor Arrested For Defrauding NBA Stars Out of $13 Million

Ex-Morgan Stanley Advisor Arrested For Defrauding NBA Stars Out of $13 Million

An ex-Morgan Stanley financial advisor has been arrested for defrauding multiple current and former NBA stars like Jrue Holiday (Milwaukee Bucks), Chandler Parsons, and Courtney Lee.

According to the United States Department of Justice, Darryl Cohen is accused of defrauding the professional athletes out of more than $13 million in total.

Cohen and his co-defendants -- Brian Gilder, NBA agent Charles Briscoe, and Calvin Darden, Jr. -- are facing a six-count indictment.

Credit: Adobe Parr/Getty Images

The federal charges against Cohen include one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud, each of which carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence. Additionally, Cohen has been charged with investment advisor fraud, which carries a maximum of five years in prison.

All four accused parties were arrested on Thursday, March 23, 2023 in their respective cities of residence: Cohen in Chatsworth, California, Gilder in North Ridge, California, Briscoe in Katy, Texas, and Darden, Jr. in Atlanta, Georgia.

The DoJ shared thoughts from U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, who said, “As alleged in the indictment, these defendants believed that defrauding their professional athlete clients of millions of dollars would be a layup. That was a huge mistake, and they now face serious criminal charges for their alleged crimes.”

As for the fraud schemes themselves, from 2017 through sometime in 2020, Cohen, then a registered investment adviser at Morgan Stanley, defrauded three professional basketball player clients out of approximately $5 million by taking advantage of his advisory relationships with them. Cohen worked closely with Gilder, working at the time as an independent financial advisor, and pulled him into the scam by encouraging the players to take advice from him.

Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The duo ultimately sold the players fraudulent life insurance policies and encouraged them to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to a fake non-profit organization.

NBA agent Briscoe and Darden, Jr. also defrauded basketball players by bringing up the possibility of purchasing a professional women’s basketball team.

Finally, all four of the defendants worked together to defraud one of the athletes by asking him to invest in what was purportedly a new sports agency. The agency, of course, did not actually exist. 

It is worth noting that Darden, Jr. had previously pled guilty to wire fraud in the Southern District of New York. 

The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Reilly and Kevin Mead are leading the prosecution's case.

What do you think about this wild fraud case?

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Rebekah Barton

Rebekah Barton

Rebekah's search engine optimization career began completely by accident as a college student. Over the course of her career so far, she has "grown up" with the SEO industry, from writing content while juggling classes to managing her own teams of writers and overseeing SEO strategy in subsequent roles. She is excited to bring her passion for high-quality content to CountingWorks, Inc.

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