Ex-NFL investor Reginald Fowler pleads guilty to crypto scheme

A businessman who was one of the early investors in a failed professional soccer league called the Alliance of American Football pleaded guilty Monday to charges in a $600 million cryptocurrency scheme.

Reginald Fowler has been charged with bank fraud, wire fraud and other offenses that prosecutors say contributed to the AAF’s rapid demise in 2019.

The guilty plea in Manhattan federal court comes at a time when other up-and-coming leagues are single-mindedly trying to loosen the National Football League’s grip on professional football. In 2019, the AAF closed after eight weeks when it ran out of money.

Fowler, 63, of Chandler, Arizona, was once known for trying to buy the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings in 2005. He ended up as a minority owner before his involvement with the team ended in 2014.

Reggie Fowler
Reggie Fowler
Star Tribune via Getty Images

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said that as part of the crypto scheme, Fowler “helped process hundreds of millions of dollars in unregulated transactions on behalf of numerous cryptocurrency exchanges, bypassing anti-money laundering safeguards required by licensed institutions that ensure that the US financial system is not used for criminal purposes.”

Prosecutors also alleged that Fowler lied to AAF executives by claiming he controls tens of millions of dollars in bank accounts from real estate investments and government contracts that allow him to invest in the league.

“Having accepted full responsibility in an open plea today, Reggie will have an opportunity to be heard at sentencing on his understanding of the circumstances of the crimes and key issues such as the reasonable amount of financial loss attributable to Reggie,” Defense Attorney Edward said Sapone said in a statement. Ex-NFL investor Reginald Fowler pleads guilty to crypto scheme


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