Friday, January 25, 2013 2:34 pm
QB Young says he `probably' signed loan papers
By DANNY ROBBINSAssociated Press
"All I know is I probably could have signed some of them, and I feel like some of them are fishy," he testified in a videotaped deposition last month.
A copy of the deposition transcript was obtained by The Associated Press.
Young, who has been out of football since he was cut by the Buffalo Bills before the start of the 2012 season, is fighting a $1.7 million judgment against him obtained by New York-based Pro Player Funding LLC last July. The former University of Texas star has said he wasn't involved in seeking the high-interest loan, funded during the NFL lockout in 2011, and never got the proceeds.
But in the deposition, taken Dec. 13 in Houston, Young acknowledged he probably signed some of the paperwork in the presence of a notary during a visit to the office of a Houston lawyer.
"I went to sign some papers that my financial adviser asked me to go over and sign, but I don't remember what it was," he testified.
Asked by Pro Player's attorney if he bothered to request the documents in their entirety, Young replied: "No. I'd just go and sign and get out of there."
In court filings last year, Young said he didn't recall signing the paperwork. If he did sign something, it happened without the corresponding loan information being made available to him, he said. He also claimed no notary was present.
Young's attorney, Trey Dolezal, did not respond to requests for comment on the deposition.
As part of his testimony, Young acknowledged that he never questioned why $1 million of the salary he earned from the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 season went directly from the team to Pro Player.
"I never have discussions about things like that when I'm playing football," he said. "I'm just too focused. ... Like I said, I put my trust in (his accountant) to find out what's going on and my lawyers to figure it out so I can focus on playing football."
At one point, Pro Player attorney Sean Bellew asked Young whether he understood the significance of having a judgment against him.
"I'm not a lawyer, so I don't know nothing about this," he replied. "Only information I know is what my lawyer explains to me and lets me know what goes on. I'm just trying to figure it out myself."
Young testified that he was "lied to" by advisers who falsely claimed to have put $5 million of his money in a "trust." He also acknowledged that he allowed people to have power of attorney over his affairs without understanding what that meant.
"If they do anything on your behalf, I thought they had to make sure it goes by you and I'm signing for it," he testified. "I didn't know that ... if they have a power of attorney, they can go do anything with your signature."
Young has sued his former agent, Houston attorney Major Adams, and a North Carolina financial planner, Ronnie Peoples, claiming they misappropriated $5.5 million. The lawsuit, filed five days after the Pro Player loan went into default, also contends that Adams and Peoples obtained the loan for their own benefit.
Adams and Peoples have denied wrongdoing, and Peoples has filed a countersuit in which he alleges that Young caused his money problems by overspending and allowing his uncle, a former middle school teacher, to oversee his finances.
Attempts by Bellew to seek detailed information from Young about his current financial condition were repeatedly cut off by Dolezal.
"He's kept up with his bills," Dolezal said at one point. "And that's about as far as that's going to go."
Financing statements reviewed by the AP show that Young was one of at least 16 current or former NFL players who obtained loans from Pro Player in 2011. Three NBA players also borrowed money from the company, according to the documents.
Pro Player sued Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie last year over what the company said was more than $4.5 million in unpaid loans. That matter was settled in July when McKinnie agreed to have 50 percent of his wages garnished during the 2012 season.
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