SBD/Issue 56/Sports Industrialists

Forstmann Accused Of Betting On NCAA While IMG Repped Coaches

Suit Claims Forstmann Bet Over
$600,000 On NCAA Tourney   

A lawsuit filed in October in L.A. County Superior Court alleges that while IMG Worldwide was "representing top college coaches from 2004 to 2007," IMG Chair & CEO TED FORSTMANN was "betting hundreds of thousands of dollars on college football and the NCAA men's basketball tournament," according to Joe Drape of the N.Y. TIMES. The suit "contends that Forstmann bet more than $600,000 -- in amounts from $2,000 to $23,000 -- on the men's basketball tournament from 2004 to 2007 while IMG was representing college basketball coaches." Villanova Univ. men's basketball coach JAY WRIGHT is "listed on IMG's Web site as a client," and "one of Forstmann's many bets on the 2006 NCAA men's basketball tournament, the lawsuit asserts, was a $7,000 wager on Villanova, made on March 25, 2006." Forstmann, through a spokesperson, said that the "allegations outlined in the lawsuit were inaccurate." IMG said that Forstmann "had not been involved in the firm's representation of college coaches." Forstmann's spokesperson, MICHAEL SITRICK, said that IMG attorneys are "putting together a rigorous compliance program restricting and prohibiting wagering ... 'to avoid any concerns or perceptual issues in the future.'" Drape notes the alleged betting habits of Forstmann first came to light in October "in the lawsuit filed by Agate Printing, which alleges fraud, interference with contract and breach of contract." Among the 70 pages of exhibits in the suit are "dates, amounts and specific college and professional games wagered on, a wire transfer from Forstmann, and a transcript of a voice mail allegedly left by Forstmann on Sept. 9, 2007, confirming that he had bet $10,000 each on the Mets and the Boston Red Sox, and $20,000 on the New England Patriots." Forstmann "has acknowledged publicly that he bet through" Agate Printing Owner JIM AGATE, "including $40,000 on one of his company's clients, ROGER FEDERER, in the 2007 French Open men's final." Forstmann said that he "quit betting altogether in 2007" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/1).

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