Former NFL defensive back Will Allen was given six years in prison for his role in a Ponzi scheme, a harsher sentence than observers expected.

Brian Amaral, a reporter for Law360, said Allen got twice the average sentence for fraud. Former banker Susan Daub also got six years, according to Law360. Both pleaded guilty.

Allen, a cornerback, played 140 NFL games with the New York Giants and Miami Dolphins from 2001-11. He was the Giants’ first-round pick in 2001. Allen (not to be confused with fellow former NFL defensive back Will Allen, who played mostly for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Pittsburgh Steelers from 2004-16) was charged with fraud in 2015. In this Ponzi scheme, Allen and Daub convinced investors to fund loans to professional athletes, but the loans were bogus or oversubscribed and they used the money for personal expenses and other business ventures, Law360 said.

Amaral said some in the courtroom were stunned at the sentences of six years in prison, and he reported that even the U.S. attorney’s office seemed surprised. The scheme cost investors about $17 million, Law360 said.

“This was a huge fraud,” U.S. District Judge William Young said, according to Law360.

Former Miami Dolphin Will Allen loses house, moves to hotel while he awaits sentencing.

Law360 said Allen used some of the proceeds for home improvements to his mansion, and used investors’ money at casinos and cigar stores. Allen and Daub were ordered to pay about $17 million in restitution combined, Amaral reported.

The two were not allowed to self-report to prison and were taken away by marshals, “both in tears,” the Law360 story said.


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