FORMER SPORTS AGENT, BENJAMIN M. GELLER, PLEADS GUILTY TO WIRE FRAUD
BENJAMIN M. GELLER, age 53, a resident of Austin, Texas, pled guilty last Friday before U. S. District Judge Lance M. Africk to one count of wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Dana J. Boente.
According to court documents, GELLER was employed as a sports agent for, among others, Frank W. Warren, III, a former NFL player who played with the New Orleans Saints. In or around 1994, according to the Bill of Information, GELLER assisted Warren in obtaining a life insurance policy worth approximately $1,000,000. In the event of Warren’s death, the life insurance proceeds were going to fund a trust, which was established by Warren and GELLER, for the benefit of Warren’s spouse. GELLER was named trustee of the trust.
In or around 2002, according to the Factual Basis, Warren died and the funds from the life insurance policy (approximately $1,000,000) were disbursed to a trust in Warren’s name for the benefit of his widowed spouse. From in or around 2003 through in or around 2007, according to court documents, GELLER acted as the trustee of the trust and was only permitted to expend funds as the trust provided; he was not permitted to expend trust funds for his own personal use. Despite that prohibition, according to court documents, from in or around 2003 through in or around 2007, GELLER unlawfully defrauded the trust and its beneficiary by spending over $500,000 in trust funds for his own personal use, including for travel, lodging, and entertainment purposes. GELLER also spent some of the $500,000 in trust funds for his own personal businesses, as well as for other, miscellaneous purchases.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org