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LAFC co-owner Jason Sugarman sued by SEC for stealing money from clients

Businessman in hot water.

Hammer Museum K.A.M.P. (Kids’ Art Museum Project) 2017 Photo by Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Hammer Museum

News broke on Tuesday that Los Angeles Football Club co-owner Jason Sugarman has a civil suit filed by the U.S. Securites and Exchange Commission charging him with scheming with other businessmen to steal $43 million in duping a South Dakota-based American Indian tribe.

The OC Register reported that Sugarman is alleged in the suit to have pocketed $9 million himself in the fraud, with a co-conspirator serving a 14-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to criminal charges.

According to the summary provided in the report, the scheme misled the Wakpamni Lake Community Corp. by convincing them to issue bonds to raise funds, with the hope the income generated could be invested and produce regular profit for bondholders. Instead, the suit claims Sugarman and seven other co-conspirators kept the money themselves in order to invest in new projects and shore up their existing business ventures.

At this point, it does not look like Sugarman is facing criminal charges himself, with the government instead opting to sue him for the money they allege was stolen for personal enrichment.

Sugarman, based in Los Angeles, is not only a co-owner of LAFC (he remains on the club’s ownership page as of this publishing), he is also son-in-law of LAFC co-owner and executive chairman Peter Guber. Sugarman also holds a stake in the LA Dodgers’ minor league team, the Oklahoma City Dodgers, a team that is also co-owned by Guber.

The OC Register report notes LAFC declined to comment on the civil suit against Sugarman. The allegations are certainly serious and we’ll see what happens to the case moving forward.

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