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Sports Agent Black Sentenced

May 7, 2002

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ Sports agent William ``Tank″ Black was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for swindling millions of dollars from NFL players he represented.

Black was convicted by a jury on Jan. 31 of defrauding Jacksonville Jaguars running back Fred Taylor, New York Giants receiver Ike Hilliard, and others.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Mickle ordered Black to serve the new sentence after finishing the 6-year, 10-month sentence he is serving for laundering $1.1 million for a drug ring in Detroit. Black began that jail term in June 2001.

Black’s attorney, Jon Uman, said he plans to appeal.

Black’s co-defendant, Linda Wilson, also was sentenced to five years by Mickle for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and defrauding the government. Her sentence is concurrent with a 3 1/2-year sentence she is serving from the same Detroit case.

Prosecutor Jerry Sanford said during trial that Black abused his clients’ trust and stole between $12 million and $14 million from them. NFL players testified that Black used his position as their agent to steal millions from them through bogus investments.

Taylor testified in January that he lost most of his $5 million signing bonus to Black, while Hilliard testified he was bilked about of $2.5 million.

Former player Robert Brooks said he lost $2.5 million by investing in a bogus car-title loan company called Cash 4 Titles. The Securities and Exchange Commission shut down the company in 1999, calling it an illegal pyramid scheme.

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