Reggie Fowler

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Reginald Dennis "Reggie" Fowler (February 1959 –) is an African-American gridiron football businessman. He played with the Arizona Wranglers, and later invested in the Minnesota Vikings. He was involved in the Alliance of American Football. He was the owner of the now bankrupt Spiral, Inc. and Kyrene OEM, LLC (formerly OEM Logistics, Inc.) in Tempe, Arizona.

Fowler resides in Chandler, Arizona.

Early life[edit]

He is the son of Al and Eloise Fowler, one of their five children.[citation needed] When Al Fowler retired from the U.S. Air Force, he moved his family to Tucson, Arizona where he opened a restaurant called Al's Pit Bar-B-Que. Reggie worked as a dishwasher there. The original location was to become the setting for the 1974 Scorsese film, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore.[citation needed]

After Reggie's family relocated to the east side of town, he attended Magee Junior High School and later Sahuaro High School, where he played football, as did his brother, Jeff. Reggie was inducted into the Sahuaro High School Alumni (Cougar Foundation) Hall of Fame in 1998.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Fowler graduated from Sahuaro in 1977 and left Tucson to attend the University of Wyoming on a football scholarship. There he started out as a running back, the position he played in high school, but later switched to wide receiver and linebacker positions. He graduated in December, 1981, with a bachelor's degree in Social Work.[citation needed] Though he was not drafted, he attended training camp for the Cincinnati Bengals but was cut from the team before the beginning of the season.

When the USFL was formed in 1983, Fowler was selected to play for the Arizona Wranglers but played sparingly as a reserve linebacker. He saw action in the last six games of the 1983 season – last playing on Sunday, July 3rd in Pontiac, Michigan. The Wranglers transferred the majority of their rostered players to the Chicago Blitz in September 1983; however, Fowler was not part of the transaction and was released. He took business courses at Arizona State University, then took a job with Mobil Oil's chemical division, where he worked in sales.[citation needed] He left that position to start Spiral in 1989, reportedly with an initial investment of only $1000.

Business career[edit]

Fowler is one of a group of investors, led by Zygmunt Wilf, who purchased the NFL's Minnesota Vikings from previous owner Red McCombs in 2005. He initially sought to be the general partner himself, thereby becoming the first minority owner of an NFL franchise, but withdrew his bid when he could not provide details about his stake in the ownership group. Instead, he became a limited partner in the group so that he would not lose his $20 million deposit. He did not disclose any information about his financial situation to the media. By October 2014, Fowler was no longer a limited partner of the Minnesota Vikings. [1] Fowler's admission of default came during a legal deposition in late August in Phoenix. He lost control of his companies when a receivership was affirmed Oct. 16 in Maricopa County Superior Court after U.S. Bank obtained a judgment against him. U.S. Bank claimed Fowler's companies had accumulated $6 million in unpaid debts to it and at least $53 million in debts to other banks.

Fowler was a major investor in the Alliance of American Football. His decision to withdraw his funding after the first week of the season forced the league to hastily sell Fowler's stake to Thomas Dundon, leading to the league's demise. The league was never forthright about the league's finances throughout its existence and Fowler's involvement was only made public after the league collapsed.[2]

Crypto Capital[edit]

In April 2019 Fowler's funds were frozen by the Department of Justice, after Fowler's indictment on charges of money laundering for cryptocurrency exchanges.[3]

In April 2019 New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a suit accusing cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex of using the reserves of an affiliated company to cover up a loss of $850 million. Bitfinex had been unable to obtain a normal banking relationship, according to the lawsuit, so it deposited over $1 billion with a Panamanian payment processor known as Crypto Capital Corp. No contract was ever signed with Crypto Capital.[4] James alleged that in 2018 Bitfinex knew or suspected that Crypto Capital had absconded with the money, but that their investors were never informed of the loss.[4]

Fowler, who is alleged to have connections with Crypto Capital, was indicted on April 30, 2019, for running an unlicensed money transmitting business for cryptocurrency traders. He is believed to have failed to return about $850 million to an unnamed client. Investigators also seized $14,000 in counterfeit currency from his office.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ SHS Cougar Foundation Hall of Fame Archived 2015-11-01 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Kartje, Ryan (April 5, 2019). "AAF goes under: Inside the sudden collapse of the Alliance of American Football". Orange County Register. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  3. ^ Orr, Conor (1 May 2019). "The Curious Rise and Spectacular Crash of the Alliance of American Football". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2 May 2019.
  4. ^ a b Larson, Erik; Leising, Matthew; Kharif, Olga (26 April 2019). "Crypto Market Roiled by New Allegations Against Tether, Bitfinex". Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  5. ^ Robinson, Matt; Kharif, Olga; Leising, Matthew (3 May 2019). "Ex-NFL Owner Said to Be Tied to $850 Million Crypto Mystery". Bloomberg. Retrieved 5 May 2019.

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