Heavyweight champ Mike Tyson said his financial adviser was so close that he invited the money man to his wedding.
Basketball star Glen Rice called the adviser “one of his best friends.”
But the man advising them about their funds was stealing, according to a guilty plea Monday in federal court from Brian J. Ourand, a former executive with a management group owned by Live Nation Entertainment.
Ourand, 55, admitted to embezzling nearly $1 million from Tyson, Rice and two other athletes and spending it on tanning sessions, dental work, gambling and hotel stays, among other purchases, according to the plea to one count of wire fraud entered in Washington.
“I gotta go,” Ourand, in a houndstooth blazer and swept-back silver-gray hair, said outside the courtroom after entering his plea before U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan, who set sentencing for May 2. He is a former executive of SFX Financial Advisory Management Enterprises.
Ourand was charged in December 2015 on a 17-count indictment including federal mail and wire fraud and aggravated identity-theft charges and District theft counts.
Under the plea deal, Ourand agreed to pay back $1 million, including $546,168 he stole between 2006 and 2011 from Tyson; $265,124 from Rice; $182,957 from a player identified in a separate federal securities probe as basketball star Dikembe Mutombo; and $8,141 from an unidentified fourth athlete, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Last of the District said.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Carlos J. Vanegas declined to comment.
Tyson and Rice described the personal relationships they said they developed with the adviser in the course of the securities investigation.
Ourand pleaded guilty to a charge that carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison, but he faces 33 months to 41 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines under the deal. He was released on personal recognizance.
In charging documents, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District alleged that the embezzlement scheme began as early as May 2003. The indictment listed Ourand’s expenditures with the stolen money, including a $2,466 stay at the Renaissance Hotel in Chicago, dental work, Nordstrom Rack clothing, dry cleaning and treatment at a tanning salon.
Other expenses allegedly included private school tuition for a relative of a girlfriend.
Ourand has split time since 2015 among Miami; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Chicago, federal filings show. He told Chutkan that he also has a residence in the Lake Michigan resort town of New Buffalo, Mich.
He was found guilty last year of misappropriating client funds by the Securities and Exchange Commission and ordered to return $671,367 plus interest and pay a $300,000 civil penalty.
An SEC judge named Ourand’s victims as Tyson, who filed a $5 million lawsuit against SFX in Los Angeles in February 2013, Rice and Mutombo. SFX reached an agreement or settled a lawsuit to repay each client, administrative law Judge Carol Fox Foelak wrote in her SEC decision.
The SEC alleged that Ourand was fired by SFX after having written checks and initiated wire transfers from client accounts for his own benefit from 2006 until his dismissal in August 2011.
SFX and Chief Compliance Officer Eugene S. Mason of Dayton, Md., agreed to pay $150,000 and $25,000, respectively, to settle related SEC charges, including over their supervision of Ourand, the SEC said.
The financial-adviser firm serves mostly current and former professional athletes with services including paying bills, coordinating tax filings and estate planning, U.S. prosecutors said.
According to the SEC ruling, Ourand’s manipulations were discovered when Mason received a late-night phone call in 2011 from Mutombo, who complained that his credit card had been declined, was late on payments and showed activity in Ourand’s name.
Mutombo became a client of SFX in 1991 when he graduated from Georgetown University and entered the National Basketball Association. He spoke with Ourand on the telephone “three or four times a week,” according to SEC testimony. The eight-time NBA all-star’s humanitarian foundation, active in his native Congo, also received SFX services.
Tyson worked with SFX from 2009 to 2011, and his wife, Lakiha, spoke with Ourand “a few times a week. She felt comfortable with him,” the SEC judge wrote.
Tyson in his lawsuit alleged that they once trusted Ourand so much that he attended their wedding.
Rice said he became a client of SFX in 1994 or 1995, spoke to Ourand daily and “considered him a really good friend … one of my best friends,” according to the SEC ruling.