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Steve Francis’ Manager Could Receive Up To 10 Years In Prison

On November 1, 2010, Nathan Peake, a manager for professional boxers and basketball players (including Steve Francis), was booked for tax evasion.  The government was interested in learning why Peake had not filed income tax returns between 2000 and 2007.  Furthermore, he was charged with preparing false tax returns and obstructing the IRS.  It was believed that at least $5.8 million was transfered from his Peake Management Group business account to his personal savings.

Yesterday, Peake pleaded guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  He could receive up to 10 years in prison based on his actions, which included the misuse of a $3.5 million commercial credit line from a former client.

At one point in time, Nathan Peake was praised for his ability to promote Steve Francis’ strengths when there were a lot of doubters in Francis’ ability to play professional basketball.  This article provides a glimpse at Nathan Peake, the manager, and allows the reader to get an idea of where he came from, along with describing Peake’s friend and Francis’ agent, Jeff Fried.  Here is a small section of the piece:

The reselling of Steve Francis is a story of persistence and positioning by Jeff Fried and Nate Peake. They helped engineer the biggest trade in NBA history. They put Francis in the off-court money river. And they did it as an unorthodox pair: Fried, the 42-year-old white lawyer who came up poor in Coney Island, and Peake, 29, the African-American who came up tough on the streets of DC.

Nate Peake was coaching basketball at Langley Park Boys and Girls Club that summer. Seven years older than Francis, Peake was known for taking young athletes from the streets to courts and colleges.

Peake grew up on the streets of Northwest DC until his parents moved across the line to Hyattsville. His father, Ned, is a Vietnam veteran who was a master printer at the US Government Printing Office. His mother still works at the US Department of Education. Their home was always open to neighbors at a time when drugs and the go-go culture were beckoning young blacks. Peake’s father wound up raising more children than Nate and his brother and sister.

“It wasn’t until I’d grown up and left the house that I found out my father had saved his platoon and won a Purple Heart,” he says. “I realized that he was always giving something back, doing things for other people, so I tried to do the same.”

It seems that at some point in time, Peake thought he was above the law.  Here is to hoping that after he serves his sentence (if he serves any time) he comes back to help take young athletes from the streets to courts and colleges.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

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