According to a very in-depth Detroit Free Press article, former Red Wing Sergei Fedorov is expected to file a lawsuit today claiming an adviser named Joseph Zada embezzled $43 million from Fedorov over a span of 11 years.
Zada states that he thought it was a loan and had agreed to repay Fedorov back $60 million earlier this year, but apparently has yet to do so. Zada continues to agree that he owes money to Fedorov, but says his payments have been delayed for one reason or another.
The trust between the men was so strong that Fedorov never received any paperwork documenting his investment's performance."Whenever Fedorov inquired about the entrusted assets, Zada, acting in concert with others, intentionally lied to Fedorov, provided Fedorov with false information and engaged in other fraud and deceptions," the suit says, adding that when Fedorov asked for his money, Zada did not return it.
Fedorov isn't the only person with a problem with Zada. Eight other business associates and individuals have filed lawsuits against Zada, accusing him of taking millions.
Ron Davis, a filmmaker whose documentary "Pageant" follows five men competing in the Miss Gay America contest, has begun work on a film about his relationship with Zada.
Called "Riches to Rags," it details how Zada allegedly ripped off friends for millions of dollars."He claims that I loaned him money and that our friends loaned him money," Davis said. "Why would you lend your richest friend money? That doesn't make sense. … He came to us with a business venture."
Sadly, these types of stories happen too often. A young, foreign, star athlete starts making millions and entrusts his money to the wrong person and doesn't take the appropriate precautions to make sure the adviser is actually investing his money. The Detroit Free Press also compiled a brief list of Detroit and national stories about athletes getting taken advantage of by an adviser, including Darren McCarty, Jason Woolley, and Pistons' player Rip Hamilton.