This week yet another multi-billion dollar scam was revealed when the SEC announced its investigation of Robert Allen Stanford, a former Texas businessman who built an off-shore banking empire in the Caribbean. As yet, it's unclear what precisely was the nature of Stanford's scheme, but it does seem that some $8b is missing. And just like in the Madoff scandal, some surprising names are caught up in the melee.
More precisely, it looks like a decent chunk of the Yankees outfield currently has their assets frozen. Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady both appear to have had money with brokers who invested in Stanford's offshore financial institutions. Meaning that after the SEC's action this week, both have their assets frozen.
"I can't pay bills right now," Damon told Fox Sports. "That started on Tuesday. I had to pay a trainer for working out during the offseason. I told him, 'Just hold on for a little bit and hopefully all this stuff gets resolved.'"
Apparently Nady's credit card accounts are frozen. "I'm trying to get an apartment right now in New York," he said. "I can't put a credit card down to hold it." (Nady says he did not have money with Stanford, but it's unclear whether he means his brokers didn't have money with Stanford or whether he believes this is merely an error somewhere in his credit line.)
Both players are represented by Scott Boras, whose personal management company is helping the players figure out how and when their assets will be unfrozen.
Yes we like to see the Yankees squirm, and for some reason it's sort of funny to think of Johnny Damon telling his trainer that the check is "in the mail," but this situation still sucks. There's a couple degrees of separation between Damon, Nady, and the nefarious banking, so it's tough to see much blame on their part. So despite the headline, I'll extend some sympathy.
Another wrinkle to the story that's not Yankees related but it kind of awesome in a low-life Thomas Crowne way---Stanford himself is on the lamb. The SEC's civil case was filed Tuesday, and off he went. I like to think that he launched a catamaran into the Gulf Stream and is a long way from Tuesday right now. That, and hopefully the guy gets caught. He's no Steve McQueen or Pierce Brosnan.