Texas Tech coach accused of investment fraud

Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has been sued in federal

court, accused of defrauding investors out of more than $1.7

million in Alabama following his tenure at Auburn.

A federal lawsuit filed Friday in U.S. District Court in

Montgomery, Ala., names Tuberville, John David Stroud and eight

investment entities as defendants, claiming the two men ”employed

devices, schemes, and artifices to defraud” seven plaintiffs from

Arkansas, Alabama and Tennessee.

The lawsuit said Tuberville and Stroud misappropriated assets,

and falsified client statements and fund performance reports as

they ”unjustly enriched themselves” at the expense of the

investors.

Tuberville, who spent two seasons away from coaching after

leaving Auburn in 2008, released a statement through his attorney,

Vic Hayslip of Birmingham, Ala. Tuberville was ”surprised” at the

lawsuit and has never even met or spoken with most of the

plaintiffs, the statement reads.

”He categorically denies any wrongdoing which has been

attributed to him in this suit,” Hayslip’s statement says. ”Coach

Tuberville absolutely never solicited any investment from any of

these or other individuals.”

The statement also said Tuberville invested significant funds

and has not gotten any return. He intends to defend the allegations

against him and is confident he’ll be exonerated, the statement

says.

A woman who answered the phone at Stroud’s home in Auburn said

he wasn’t there and she didn’t know how he could be reached.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys declined comment Tuesday.

Tuberville and Texas Tech agreed to a five-year, $11 million

contract after last season that included a $500,000-a-year

raise.

The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive

damages, said Tuberville told Baron Lowe and Glen Williams in late

September that all of the investors’ funds would be returned to

them, and that Stroud indicated that they’d get their money back

before Oct. 7, 2011. Most of them have requested return of their

money in writing but haven’t been repaid, the suit said.

The suit contends that Tuberville and Stroud ”intentionally or

recklessly made untrue statements of material facts and omitted to

state material facts … to induce plaintiffs to purchase interests

in the hedge fund or funds operated and managed by

defendants.”

Tuberville and Stroud cofounded TS Capital Management, according

to the suit, which said Tuberville was ”responsible for the

investment direction, capital raising, and the day-to-day oversight

of business decisions of TSCM.”

Tuberville and Stroud, who were described as equal partners in

the firm, didn’t file federal or state income tax returns in a

timely fashion and weren’t registered to do business in Alabama,

according to the suit.

The suit said that John and Priscilla Abrams of Wetumpka, Ala.,

invested more than $745,000 and that Baron and Melanie Lowe put

more than $532,000 into the funds, including the college accounts

of their two children worth some $61,000.

Debra Clark of Lake Village, Ark., ($284,345), Fredrick Williams

($120,005) and Kristy Williams ($18,921) of Auburn are the other

defendants.