Tommy Tuberville: Texas Tech Coach Linked to $1.7 Million Fraud Investigation

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 28, 2012

Current Texas Tech and former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville is in hot water, as he is reportedly facing a $1.7 million fraud lawsuit, according to John Turner of the Huntsville Times.

According to a 2009 Birmingham News article, Tuberville is an amateur stock guru. Also named in the lawsuit is John David Stroud, whom Tuberville reportedly works with at TS Capital Partners, Stroud Capital and eight other entities.

In the complaint, Tuberville and Stroud are accused of a number of things, including, but not limited to, falsifying client statements, failing to file tax returns and mixing their own assets with those of their clients. There are reportedly seven plaintiffs in the case who are seeking damages.

Update: Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 6:20 p.m. EST

According to ESPN, Tuberville denied any wrongdoing after the lawsuit was filed on Friday. Tuberville said he was "surprised" to learn of the lawsuit.

Tuberville's full statement, released by his lawyer, reads, per ESPN:

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.

What It Means

If found guilty, Tuberville is obviously in quite a bit of trouble. Fraud, especially at such a high monetary level, is a major issue that the university may not want anything to do with. If found guilty, Tuberville's reputation will essentially be ruined and he could find himself out of a job.

Tuberville makes over $2 million per year at Texas Tech, so a payment plan to compensate the plaintiffs shouldn't be an issue if he loses the case.

What Happens Next

Nothing is set in stone, but a trial seems like the next logical step unless Tuberville and Stroud are willing to settle with the plaintiffs outside of court. According to the report, the plaintiffs have asked for their money to be returned, but it is believed that the money has been squandered.

With such grand charges hanging over him, you have to wonder how much Tuberville will be able to focus on football moving forward. At some point, either he or Texas Tech will have to make a decision on his future, and it may not be a long before we learn his fate in Lubbock.

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