Convicted Ponzi scheme mastermind R. Allen Stanford did some good things with the money he scammed from investors. In fact, he gave over a half-million dollars to the Tiger Woods Foundation.
Almost five years after Stanford was sentenced to over a century in jail, however, a court-appointed receiver is suing Woods’ foundation for that money.
Court-appointed receiver Ralph Janvey filed suit in a North Texas federal court on April 29 against the Tiger Woods Foundation and Tiger Woods Charity Event Corporation, seeking $502,000 which Stanford reportedly donated to the organizations. Two separate donations were recorded: one for $500,000 to the foundation and another $2,000 to the event corporation, which runs the Quicken Loans National, Deutsche Bank Championship and World Challenge events. Stanford was a founding sponsor of the then-AT&T National with a three-year agreement with Woods’ foundation and tournament corporation for that role.
Janvey, through attorney Richard Roper, claims the receivership is entitled to the funds because the donations to the Woods-related entities were based on “illegal contracts,” meaning Stanford was handing over money through his entities that wasn’t really his. Janvey also claims rights to any real property acquired using the money Stanford donated.
The Woods foundation is just the latest in a line of over 50 people and organizations sued by the receivership, including the PGA Tour, Memphis tournament beneficiary St. Jude Children’s Hospital and pro golfers David Toms and Vijay Singh.
The PGA Tour was sued in 2011 by Janvey for some $13 million. Janvey claimed the PGA Tour made profits from fraudulent certificates of deposit (CDs) sold to Stanford’s investors as part of his $7 billion Ponzi scheme. Rather, Stanford paid the PGA Tour to sponsor the Memphis PGA Tour stop in 2007-08.
Toms, the 2001 PGA champion, was also sued in 2011 for over $900,000 in sponsorship fees paid to him by Stanford. Like with the PGA Tour, Janvey claimed the money Toms was paid came from profits from fraudulent certificates of deposit (CDs) sold to Stanford’s investors as part of his $7 billion Ponzi scheme. Lawyers for Toms claimed the payments were merely for endorsements, not because Toms was a net-profit investor in those CDs.
Vijay Singh, who was also sponsored by Stanford, and his management firm, IMG, were also sued in 2011 by Janvey for $10.5 million in sponsorship fees. IMG also represented Woods when Stanford became a founding sponsor of the AT&T National.
Shoshana Agus-Kleinman contributed to this report.