Former NFL Player Convicted in Retrial For $10 Million Fraud Scheme

Posted on November 5th, 2019 at 2:46 PM
Former NFL Player Convicted in Retrial For $10 Million Fraud Scheme

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

A federal jury convicted a former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker and Minnesota Vikings alumni Merrill Robertson Jr. in a retrial for his role in a $10 million fraud scheme.

According to court documents, the jury found Robertson guilty of using his company, Cavalier Union Investments ("Cavalier"), as a "slush fund" for defrauding elderly investors to support his lavish lifestyle. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison in December 2017. The conviction, however, was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit after the lower court judge failed to question jurors about whether they read a newspaper article about the case. An appellate panel granted Robertson a new trial, and he was again convicted on 15 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. He is now facing up to 330 years in prison when a federal district court judge will determine the sentence early next year.

Robertson and co-conspirator, Sherman Carl Vaughn, formed Cavalier in 2010, claiming that the company was a "leading private investment firm" serving individual retirement accounts that invested in restaurants, real estate, and alternative energy. The pair raised cash from senior citizens as well as former football coaches and donors, alumni, and employees of schools that Robertson attended, including the University of Virginia. 

Cavalier became functionally insolvent shortly after Robertson and Vaughn formed the firm. Robertson and Vaughn sent out false account statements and paid some investors with new investor money to conceal financial problems. They also used investor cash for personal expenses, misappropriating almost $6 million to spend on car payments, family vacations, mortgage payments, and even a luxury suite at a football stadium, according to the government.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched a parallel civil action against Robertson and Vaughn Jr. on similar allegations.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisors nationwide in securities and employment matters. The securities lawyers at Eccleston Law also practice a variety of other areas of practice for financial investors and advisors including Securities FraudCompliance ProtectionBreach of Fiduciary DutyFINRA Matters, and much more. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today.

Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

Tags: james eccleston, eccleston law, eccleston law llc, eccleston, merrill robertson, sherman vaughn, fraud, fraud scheme

Return to Archive



I am so blessed to have you and your dynamic team defending me. Your ethics, forward thinking and strategies are amazing.  You guys are the best group of attorneys in the country that I could hire to handle this complicated case.

Cindy C.


June 9, 2023
Retrospective Review Deadline Approaching

The deadline for completing the initial retrospective review required by the Department of Labor (DOL) is quickly approaching.

June 8, 2023
Former David Lerner Branch Manager Receives FINRA Sanctions for Supervisory Lapses

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) imposed a one-month suspension and a $5,000 fine on former David Lerner Associates branch manager Rande Aaronson.

June 7, 2023
SEC Files Fraud Charges Against Financial Advisor for Exploiting Elderly Clients

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Douglas McKelvey, a former Morgan Stanley financial advisor, with fraud for misappropriating more than $1.7 million from two elderly customers who were his close relatives.