Brees Sues Ex-Teammate Over Bogus Tax Credits
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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees sued a former teammate Monday for allegedly advising him to invest $160,000 in tax credits that turned out to be bogus.
The suit filed on Brees’ behalf in federal court claims former Saints long snapper Kevin Houser, a licensed securities broker, mishandled the star quarterback’s money and failed to disclose his own financial interests in the investments he was promoting.
Several other teammates and coaches sued Houser for allegedly advising them to invest a total of roughly $2 million to buy nonexistent tax credits from a defunct movie studio. Brees’ lawyer, Daniel Becnel Jr., said his client had held off on joining them in suing to see if their dispute could be resolved out of court.
“We gave them an opportunity to settle,” Becnel said. “We didn’t want to file suit. We’ve been trying to negotiate with them.”
Meanwhile, former New Orleans Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey and former Saints defensive coordinator Gary Gibbs reached separate settlements Monday with Houser over the same investment deal. Terms were confidential.
“The parties are happy to have this behind them,” said Fred Herman, a lawyer for Shockey and Gibbs.
Houser’s attorney didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment.
Saints head coach Sean Payton reached a separate settlement with Houser last month. Former Saints defensive end Charles Grant still has claims pending against Houser that are scheduled to be tried later this month.
Wayne Read, who once ran Louisiana Film Studios LLC, is the only person to face criminal charges over the investment deal.
Read was sentenced to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty in May 2010 to fraud charges. Read never invested the money necessary to obtain the tax credits he sold to his investors, who wanted to use them to reduce their state income-tax liability, according to federal prosecutors.
More than two dozen team members were among Read’s victims. Grant paid $425,000. Payton paid $144,000. Former Saints star quarterback Archie Manning and Shockey each paid $80,000.