Vince Young's lawyer contests loan

Updated: August 17, 2012, 6:00 PM ET
Associated Press

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Vince Young's lawyer disputed a company's claim that the Buffalo Bills backup quarterback defaulted on a high-risk loan and now owes nearly $1.7 million.

Attorney Trey Dolezal also raised questions on Friday whether his client was even aware the loan was taken out in his name. Dolezal told The Associated Press by phone that Pro Player Funding never contacted Young, and instead worked with the player's former financial adviser, Ronnie T. Peoples, in issuing a high-interest $1.877 million loan in May 2011.

"Let me say this: According to Pro Player, they dealt directly with Ron Peoples," Dolezal said. "We believe that Ron Peoples was involved in this loan, contacted Pro Player, was the go-between between Pro Player to get this loan, and Vince never even know this loan was taking place."

Dolezal said Young never had any contact with Pro Player, and questioned whether Young actually or knowingly signed the loan documents.

"There are some problems with that signature, whether or not, No. 1, it's Vince's signature and, No. 2, whether or not that signature was supposed to be attached to this document," Dolezal said.

Pro Player Funding filed documents in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan on June 6 stating it was legally obligated to begin collecting $1.695 million from Young because the player defaulted on the loan. The company claimed Young did so by missing a payment in late May, shortly after signing a one-year contract potentially worth $3 million with the Bills.

Among the documents Pro Player filed was what was called an affidavit of confession of judgment that included papers signed by Young as proof the player was aware of the terms and conditions of the loan. The short-term loan was to be repaid by January 2013 at an annual interest rate of 20 percent. That rate jumped another 10 percent if Young missed a payment.

Dolezal intends to file a motion to have Pro Player's order set aside, and also stop company representatives from collecting money from Young by attempting to approach him at training camp.

"They're harassing him while he's trying to make the football team," he said.

A message left with Brian Jedwab, Pro Player Funding's managing director, was not returned.

Peoples' attorney, David Chaumette, acknowledged the North Carolina-based financial planner initiated the loan, but disputed Dolezal's claim that Young was not involved.

Chaumette said Young was part of a series of three-way phone calls during which the loan was negotiated. At one point, Young faxed his driver's license to a Pro Player representative to make clear that the quarterback was the person on the phone, Chaumette told the AP.

Chaumette noted that Young appointed a trustee to approve any financial decisions and transactions Peoples made on the quarterback's behalf. And he added, the payment schedule -- the money was to be paid directly out of the Young's NFL salary -- was set up without Peoples' input because the quarterback had already fired the financial planner.

Peoples and Young's former agent, Major Adams, are both accused in a lawsuit the quarterback filed in Houston in June of cheating him out of at least $5.5 million. Young alleges the two conspired to commit fraud by forging his signature and falsifying documents to misappropriate money the quarterback was supposed to have earned from his five-year, $54 million rookie contract and through endorsement deals.

Adams and Peoples have both denied the allegations.

Young broke into the NFL as a high-profile star in 2006, after leading Texas to the national championship. He was drafted third overall by the Titans and was named the league's offensive rookie of the year.

He's now on his third team in as many years after playing for Philadelphia last season.

Public records show that at least 12 other NFL players obtained loans from Pro Player Funding in 2011 during the NFL lockout. It's a group that includes Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee and Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Bryant McKinnie.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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