NFL's QB Young sues ex-agent, former financial adviser alleging misappropriation of funds
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. - Vince Young is accusing his former agent and ex-financial adviser of cheating him out of at least $5.5 million the former first-round draft pick was supposed to have earned in his rookie contract and through endorsement deals.
In a lawsuit filed by the Buffalo Bills' new quarterback in Houston on Monday, Young alleges that Major Adams II and Ronnie T. Peoples breached their contracts by conspiring to commit fraud and misappropriate the player's funds.
Adams is a Houston-based attorney who served as Young's first agent in negotiating the five-year, $54 million contract the quarterback first signed after being selected with the third pick in the 2006 NFL draft by Tennessee. Peoples, who operates Peoples Financial Services in Raleigh, N.C., was hired by Young to be his financial adviser.
The two are also alleged in the 15-page lawsuit of forging Young's signature, falsifying documents and using a fake email address to impersonate Young to secure loans in part to help pay off Adams' personal debts.
"Young has reason to believe that most and possibly all of these funds have been misappropriated, improperly converted and/or squandered by one or more of the defendants," the lawsuit states. It also notes that Adams had access to Young's money because the two held multiple joint accounts.
Adams denied any wrong-doing and added he had considered Young to be a friend.
"I have never had access to Vince Young's financial money, any money he has," Adams told The Associated Press by phone on Tuesday. "I've never had any access to his financial accounts. I've never been authorized on any accounts to write checks or anything like that. All I did for Vince Young was negotiate his contracts."
Adams noted that Young never made any mention of a lawsuit when the two last talked about a month or two ago before the quarterback signed with Buffalo. He said the two instead spoke about Young's status as a free agent, and his worries about signing with a new team.
"We'll fight this lawsuit vigorously in court and also will file a counterclaim of defamation," Adams added.
A spokeswoman for Peoples said he was deferring comment until having an opportunity to read through the allegations.
The lawsuit said that when Young changed financial management firms in 2011, a six-year review of the player's financial dealings and bank statements revealed "a net transfer discrepancy" in Peoples Financial Service's favour.
Young, who is now represented by agent Tom Condon, is on his third team in three years since he and the Titans parted ways following the 2010 season. After completing a one-year deal in Philadelphia last season, Young signed a one-year contract potentially worth $3 million last month with the Bills to compete for a backup job.
Young was expected to be participating in the Bills voluntary practice session on Tuesday.
Young, who is from Houston, was a Heisman Trophy finalist and led Texas to the 2006 national championship. He then went on to become NFL offensive rookie of the year.
Associated Press writer Diana Heidgerd in Dallas contributed to this story.