Aaron Goodwin, a top NBA agent, and his brother Eric Goodwin, filed a lawsuit in New York Supreme Court, alleging that the national law firm Gordon Rees Scully & Mansukhani and two of its former partners, C. Anthony Mulrain and Alonzo Llorens, conspired and helped their client Decade S.A.C., LLC execute a brazen bait-and-switch fraud scheme against the Goodwins.
Aaron Goodwin is a prominent, successful NBA agent having represented several of the greatest players in the NBA, including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dwight Howard, Jason Kidd, Gary Payton, and Chris Webber. He currently represents NBA All-Star players Damian Lillard and DeMar DeRozan. Eric Goodwin is an established marketing executive with a demonstrated track record of success for his professional basketball player clients.
The Goodwins’ lawsuit alleges that Decade offered to buy the Goodwins’ business but had no experience or financial means. Accordingly, Decade sought to secretly leverage the Goodwins’ prominent reputation and their lucrative receivables, i.e., assets that Decade did not own, as collateral so Decade could convince a third-party lender to loan Decade millions of dollars to personally enrich themselves with those loan proceeds. The complaint further alleges that the defendants conspired with and helped Decade with this fraud scheme by concealing material terms and documents from the Goodwins, providing false assurances of their clients’ legitimacy to the Goodwins and covering up Decade’s fraud as it began to unravel with loan defaults, civil lawsuits and a bankruptcy proceeding. Defendants even knowingly and fraudulently affixed the Goodwins’ signature pages to purchase transaction documents that the Goodwins never saw or agreed to. After a related federal bankruptcy trial in Delaware, the the judge found that the Goodwins were “innocent victims,” having been “defrauded” by Decade and “aided and abetted by” the defendants and others and that the defendants were, “at worst … downright fraudsters.”
Goodwins’ lawyer, Rodney Villazor of Smith Villazor LLP, explained, “As we allege, the defendants conspired and helped their clients commit fraud against the Goodwins, including attaching the Goodwins’ signature pages to transaction documents the Goodwins never saw or agreed to. As a direct result of that fraud, our clients suffered substantial reputational harm and a significant loss of business. We will aggressively pursue this case against the defendants to vindicate the Goodwins’ rights and restore their reputations.”