Kirk Wright, 37, founder of an illegitimate hedge fund who was convicted Wednesday by a federal jury of bilking $150 million from thousands of clients, hung himself Saturday in the Union City, Ga., jail where he was awaiting sentencing of up to 710 years in prison.
Wright started a hedge fund in 1998 called International Management Associates, enlisting Steve Atwater, a former Broncos safety, to help recruit clients. Atwater invested $2.8 million of his own money, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission, into the fund, and additionally raised more than $15 million by signing up several NFL friends including Terrell Davis, the Broncos' star running back who retired after the 2001 season, and Smith, the franchise's all-time leading receiver who earlier this year was placed on the reserve/retired list.
Wright was showing documents that falsely stated a 27 percent annual return through 2005 according to a SEC complaint when in fact he was spending clients' money on jewelry, real estate and luxury vehicles.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Man who conned Rod Smith, other NFL players, commits suicide
A man who convinced Denver Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith (formerly of Missouri Southern State University in Joplin) and other Broncos to invest in a fraudulent hedge fund scheme committed suicide Saturday night: