February 28th, 2009 15:41 EST
Even a World Champion Is Almost Penniless in This Economy
The Stanford Financial scam has destroyed the financial reserves of people from all walks of life. From everyday workers to big-time investors, the results of the most notorious Ponzi scheme in recent history have put dreams on hold and lay waste to savings accounts nationwide.
In a nearly recession proof market, professional athletes are still thriving as fans still somehow weave through the turnstiles. And with salaries on a constant incline, they`re not likely to fall anytime soon. But fraud is nameless and anyone is vulnerable including the unreasonably touted greats in American Pro Sports.
This week, Scott Eyre, the left-handed reliever from the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies, confessed that he`s the newest victim of the company`s fraud. His assets were invested in Stanford Financial. But as a response to the open investigations into their fraudulent business practices, authorities froze his in addition to everyone else`s until the case is over.
Even after taking home $2 million in the off-season, Eyre claims he has little money available for him and his family to live on. According to an interview with MLB.com, Eyre had $13 in his pocket ".
I can`t pay my bills right now, " Eyre began in the interview with MLB.com. My wife just wrote all these checks to pay the bills, and they`re all going to bounce. If it takes a week or 2 to get my money back, I`m going to have to ask my teammates for some money. Seriously, I`m going to have to ask them that. I can`t get any money out. We`ll get our money back eventually. They caught ours so early that they think we`ll only lose the interest. Supposedly, the money is insured. But it`s all a scheme, so who knows if that`s real insurance or not? "
Eyre has a smaller account invested in an entirely different firm, but he`s affirmed its nest egg won`t even begin covering his family`s living expenses for the next couple years.
The 36 year old veteran southpaw toyed with the idea that 2009 might be his final year in baseball. But with his recent luck in the brokerage sector, Eyre may come back in a year to help sustain his retirement money.
The case is a hot topic in MLB spring training camps being conducted until the season starts next month. Xavier Nady and Johnny Damon from the New York Yankees also had substantial funds bound into Stanford Financial`s sullied books. Mike Pelfrey, a pitcher in the New York Mets organization, swore 99 percent " of his net worth is tied into the business` illegitimate affairs.
Athletes affected by the scam aren`t only among ballplayers. Golf great Vijay Singh and soccer star Michael Owen are also victims of the company`s widespread swindle.