Ex-Vikings part owner sentenced six years in prison for $700 million cryptocurrency scam


A former part owner of the Minnesota Vikings who embezzled a short-lived professional football league known as the Alliance of American Football in a $700 million cryptocurrency scam has been sentenced to more than six years in prison.

Reginald Fowler, 64, of Chandler, Arizona, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to six years and three months in prison and ordered to forfeit $740 million and pay $53 million in restitution.

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After Minnesota Vikings owner Red McCombs announced the proposed sale of the team to Fowler, a former part owner of the Vikings who cheated on a short-time professional, on February 14, 2005 in Eden Prairie, Minn. Fowler of Arizona Businessman Reggie Fowler addressed reporters. The football league, known as the Alliance of American Football, was sentenced to more than six years in prison on Monday, June 5, 2023, for masterminding a $700 million cryptocurrency scam. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, File)

The American Football Confederation came to an abrupt end in 2019 when it ran out of money.

Prosecutors said Fowler lied to league officials when he claimed to control bank accounts containing millions of dollars from real estate investments and government contracts that he could use to support the league.

In 2005, he attempted to purchase the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, becoming a minority owner before ending his involvement with the team in 2014.

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The Minnesota Vikings helmet is sitting on the field

A Minnesota Vikings helmet on the field before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement that Fowler broke the law by processing hundreds of millions of dollars in unregulated transactions on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges that were used as shadow banks.

“He did this by lying to legitimate US financial institutions, which put the US financial system at serious risk,” Williams said. “He then preyed on a professional football league by lying about his net worth in exchange for a significant portion of the league.”

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Vikings helmet on the bench

A detailed view of an NFL crest logo is seen on the back of a Minnesota Vikings helmet during the game between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on December 20, 2021 in Chicago, IL. (Photo by Robin Allam/ICON Sportswire via Getty Images)

In sentencing, defense attorney Edward Sapone wrote that Fowler was distressed that he allowed himself to be involved in crimes after more than six decades of extraordinary contributions to family and community.

“Reggie is very remorseful,” Spon wrote. “The American Football League did not benefit from the investment that Reggie had planned to make. Reggie’s bank accounts were frozen, he was unable to secure the investment money, and the largesse he had promised to invest. was not able to invest the amount.”

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