Headline Sports Law

Basketball Business Manager Gets 3 Years In Prison

On November 1, 2010, Nathan Peake, a manager for professional boxers and basketball players (including Steve Francis and Ty Lawson), 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.

On March 21, 2011, Peake pled guilty to tax evasion, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Based on his actions, which included the misuse of a $3.5 million commercial credit line from a former client, Peake could have received up to 10 years in prison.  As was reported last week by the Washington Examiner, Peake will serve time in prison, but it will be a 3 year sentence instead of the maximum of 10 years.

Peake grew up on the streets of northwest Washington D.C., and later became known for helping young athletes transition from the same streets to basketball courts and institutions of higher education.  It is rather unfortunate that someone who cares about helping disadvantaged children failed to pay his taxes and now ends up in prison for a few years.  No one is invincible; the IRS will eventually get you even if you escape their reach for a small amount of time.  As stated by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.,

“Nathan Peake’s efforts at tax evasion were much less successful than the careers of the professional athletes he managed.  Today’s sentence sends the unmistakable message that everyone – especially those bringing in millions in income – must pay their fair share.”

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.