Sunday, March 12, 2006

Willie Clay Gets Ink in Wall Street Journal

Well, not good ink. in a Wall Street Journal cover story last Thursday, there was a story titled "Troubles at Atlanta Hedge Fund Snare Doctors, Football Players". It's basically a story about a young black hedge fund manager (Kirk S.Wright) who took advantage of his aftrican-american status to draw other prominant black professionals, then bilked them out of the better part of $115 - $185 MILLION. Investigators have only managed to find about $150,000 of that money and now Wright is on the run..... sort of. Nobody can find him, but evidently he can be reached by phone, as he is in regular contact with his lawyer.

So former YellowJacket football player and NFL standout Willie Clay was wrapped up in all this, along with guys like Terrell Davis, Steve Atwater and Rod Smith. Here's the part with Clay:

Investors say they were attracted by the fund's reported high returns and low volatility. The Taurus fund reported a 27% average annual gain from 1998 through the end of 2004, compared with less than 5% for the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index, according to marketing materials.

"The percentages, most of them, seemed outrageous," says Willie Clay, a former football player for the New England Patriots and two other teams who helped lead Georgia Institute of Technology to a national title in 1990. He invested in Mr.Wright's fund more than six years ago, and later invested separately with him in strip malls and car washes.

The firm's rise coincided with a blossoming of black affluence in Atlanta. The city's once close-knit community of middle-class African-Americans - many of whom banked at the city's one major black-owned bank - began expanding dramatically in the 1980's, as metro Atlanta beame a magnet for young black professions seeking business opportunities and a culural comfort zone.

Why won't anyone ever listen to their momma's. Wasn't it momma's who said - "if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is".

Here's a link to the non-Wall Street Journal version with no mention of Clay.