Tommy Tuberville's job with Texas Tech, and, well, his (financial) freedom, might be in jeopardy after he and a partner allegedly defrauded investors out of more than $1.7 million.
Seven plaintiffs in Alabama and Tennessee filed suit Friday seeking damages against Auburn-based investment company TS Capital Partners. Tuberville and TS Partners co-founder John David Stroud are named in the filing.
According to the complaint, the two men "employed devices, schemes, and artifices" to commit fraud. Tuberville worked at TS Capital Partners in 2009 after he was let go at Auburn and before he signed on with Texas Tech.
The 32-page suit alleges that Tuberville and Stroud mixed their clients' assets with their own, failed to file tax returns, falsified client statements, falsified fund performance reports and "generally disregarded and violated customary practices and procedures followed in the hedge fund and security investments industry."
Several plaintiffs, including at least one former employee of TS Capital, have demanded their money be returned, yet, according to the complaint, none of the money invested has been accounted for. The suit also states that investors listed "have reason to believe that most, and possibly all, of their invested funds have been misappropriated, improperly converted and/or squandered."
The suit lists 16 complaints against Tuberville and Stroud, including "negligence or wantonness," "fraudulent misrepresentation" and "fraudulent suppression."
The plaintiffs are seeking reimbursement of their funds. Tuberville, who is 13-12 in his two seasons with the Red Raiders, received a contract extension in January 2011 that increased his annual pay from $1.5 million to $2 million. Isn't that convenient.
Tuberville denied wrongdoing in a statement released through his Birmingham-based attorney, Vic Hayslip:
"Coach Tuberville was surprised to learn of the pending lawsuit involving TS Capital Partners, LLC and he categorically denies any wrongdoing which has been attributed to him in this suit. He has never even met or spoken with most of the plaintiffs and he is acquainted minimally with the few other plaintiffs only because they were employees at TS Capital Partners, LLC. Coach Tuberville absolutely never solicited any investment from any of these or other individuals. It is important to note that Coach Tuberville himself invested significant funds and has never received any return from his own investment. Accordingly, he is hopeful the plaintiffs, who were employees, can help to provide answers as to what transpired. Coach Tuberville has cooperated with every regulatory inquiry and not a single one has asserted that he was involved in any wrongdoing. He intends to vigorously defend the allegations made against him and is confident he will be exonerated."
It's been a tough few months for Tuberville and his family. On Nov. 1, Tuberville's wife Suzanne was involved in a car crash with an elderly couple. The 87-year-old male passenger of the vehicle died on Feb. 17, though no charges have been filed.