Aaron Shea, Former Browns Player Sues Advisors

June 12, 2012

On May 31, 2012, Aaron Shea, a former NFL player and current Director of Player Engagement for the Cleveland Browns, filed an arbitration against his current and former investment advisors, Bill C. Crafton, Jr., SunTrust Bank and Martin Kelly Capital Management, LLC. As alleged in Mr. Shea’s Statement of Claim (a copy of which is available below), Mr. Crafton, SunTrust and Martin Kelly employed an improper investment strategy – including investing the majority of Mr. Shea’s account with entities that were part of a valueless Ponzi scheme known as “Westmoore.”

Mr. Crafton promoted himself as an investment advisor to various professional athletes, including Mr. Shea and numerous other current and former NFL, MLB and NHL players. Mr. Crafton became Mr. Shea’s investment advisor in the fall of 2006, just about the time that Mr. Shea was placed on injured reserve by the San Diego Chargers.

Mr. Crafton, acting as Mr. Shea’s investment advisor, failed to properly invest Mr. Shea’s account and inappropriately purchased unsuitable illiquid investments, including investment funds that Mr. Crafton directly controlled. In 2009, seeking to expand its “Sports and Entertainment Specialty Group,” SunTrust acquired Mr. Crafton and his portfolio of athletes, and appointed Mr. Crafton as the co-head of its San Diego office. In his claim, Mr. Shea also alleges that SunTrust breached its duties by failing to properly supervise Mr. Crafton and failing to inform Mr. Shea that his account was not appropriately diversified, even after Mr. Crafton was terminated by SunTrust and SunTrust took control of Mr. Shea’s investment account.

On April 19, 2012, the NFL Players Association issued a “Fraud Alert” relating to Mr. Crafton, stating that he invested his client’s money, many of them NFL players, in the same valueless “Westmoore” Ponzi Scheme.

About Kohrman Jackson & Krantz PLL:
Kohrman Jackson & Krantz PLL is a Cleveland-based law firm representing individuals and companies throughout Northeast Ohio and the United States. Founded in 1969, we are dedicated to providing our clients with the resources and knowledge needed to solve their legal issues, and have the expertise to handle the most sophisticated business transactions and complex litigation.

For more information, please contact Mr. Shea’s counsel at:
Brett Krantz, Esq.
Kohrman Jackson & Krantz
One Cleveland Center – 20th Floor
1375 East Ninth Street
Cleveland, Ohio 44114
Telephone: (216) 736-7238
Fax: (216) 621-6536
E-mail: bk@kjk.com