Former Merrill Lynch financial advisor accused of helping steal $2.2 million from Indianapolis Colts’ Defensive End.
Former Merrill Lynch/Bank of America advisor Eva Weinberg is accused of helping steal $2.2 million from NFL player Dwight Freeney, according to a federal complaint. The complaint also names Michael Stern, Weinberg’s business associate, who allegedly transferred the funds from the Indianapolis Colts’ bank account to one controlled by Stern over the course of 139 separate transactions.
According to the complaint, Weinberg had been Freeney’s financial advisor since early 2009, when she was working with Merrill Lynch. She left Merrill in early 2010 and became Freeney’s personal advisor under her own firm. She had control of his personal finances and investments, including bank accounts, real estate investments and his restaurant in Hollywood, Calif.
Weinberg allegedly introduced Freeney to Stern as “Michael Millar,” and said that he could help with the football player’s various business interests. Freeney, a defensive end for the Indianapolis Colts, owns the Rolling Stone Restaurant & Lounge in Hollywood.
In August Freeney became aware that $2.2 million had been wired from one of his bank accounts to a Wells Fargo account for a firm called Arm’s Reach Consulting, a company controlled by Stern, the complaint states. But neither Stern nor Weinberg, who had access to Freeney’s account, made him aware of the transfers, according to the complaint. Freeney also had no agreement to pay Stern any money because he hadn’t done any work for him.
Weinberg and Stern were living together in Los Angeles, according to the government, and may have been romantically involved. In recorded conversations with an FBI informant, Stern said he and Weinberg knew and carried out the allegedly fraudulent scheme. Stern also tells the informant that the wire transfers were meant to pay for his personal expenses, fees for Weinberg, and a personal jet. Stern also told the informant that he and Weinberg were planning to leave the country in the next week.
Stern had allegedly paid for the informant to travel to Los Angeles to get a computer out of an SUV parked at LAX and to prevent incriminating evidence from getting into the hands of law enforcement.