Former Chicago Bears wide receiver Willie Gault, an Olympic track star, finds himself today among a group of people charged with artificially inflating stock prices for a heart-monitoring company. The SEC (and again, we’re talking about the U.S. Government agency regulating the exchange of securities i.e. stocks and bond trading is within it’s jurisdiction, not the Southeastern college football conference) is bringing Gault and company up on charges. Financial tomfoolery is one thing, but using a company that’s focused on helping to keep you alive to do it- that’s really low.
From the Wall Street Journal blog:
The agency said the company, Heart Tronics, repeatedly announced millions of dollars of sales that didn’t exist. The company installed Gault as a figurehead CEO, according to the SEC, while behind the scenes the company was controlled by a California lawyer who hired stock promoters to promote Heart Tronics shares on the Web.
The lawyer, Mitchell J. Stein, made nearly $8 million from “secret trades,” the SEC said. In a lawsuit the SEC filed against Stein, Gault and others, the SEC said Stein “orchestrated a brazen series of frauds designed to inflate the price of Heart Tronics stock so that he could profit from selling its securities to investors.”
Gault made headlines earlier this week for non-criminal reasons. L.A.P.D. recovered a Super Bowl ring that had been stolen from his family home last month.
Here’s his part of his verse from the Super Bowl Shuffle, I guess we’ll look at it in a different light today:
This is Speedy Willie, and I’m world class.
I like runnin’ but i love to get the pass.
I practice all day and dance all night,
I got to get ready for the Sunday fight.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports
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