Charles Briscoe, who has represented NBA players, was arrested Thursday morning in Katy, Texas, on felony charges stemming from an alleged scheme to defraud pro basketball players.
Briscoe is accused of duping one player into transferring $7 million as a supposed payment to become the “full owner” of a pro women’s basketball team. None of the money went to a purchase, and the player never became the owner. Briscoe, 35, is also accused of forging the signatures of another player and the player’s mother on a player contract as a ruse to dupe yet another player into loaning him $1 million.
The agent was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. Both carry maximum prison sentences of 20 years. He was also charged with aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory prison term of two years.
The charges were revealed by U.S. Attorney Damian Williams of the Southern District of New York through the unsealing of an indictment dated March 13 and filed in SDNY. No players’ names are mentioned, with players instead described as “Athlete-1,” “Athlete-2,” etc.
Briscoe is accused of conspiring with three other defendants: investment advisor Darryl Cohen, financial planner Brian Gilder and an intermediary named Calvin Darden Jr. All four face felony charges.
Briscoe is not currently listed by the National Basketball Players’ Association as an active agent. According to published news stories, Briscoe has represented such NBA players as Dwight Howard, Michael Beasley and Chris Duarte. However, there are disputes about Briscoe’s client list and according to RealGM.com player profiles, Howard, Beasley and Duarte are all represented by other agents. Last year Continuum Capital sued Briscoe for alleged false representations concerning his purported—and disputed—work for Howard.
The indictment says that in spring 2020, a player identified as “Athlete-5” discussed interest in buying a women’s basketball team with Briscoe. However, because Athlete-5 was an active player and barred from becoming an owner, Athlete-5 could not buy a team.
Instead, Athlete-5 was directed to fund a company controlled by a relative of Darden. The company is portrayed as a scheme wherein Athlete-5 was falsely led to believe the company featured a board that included “several prominent individuals in sports, entertainment and corporate America.”
Briscoe is also accused of convincing Athlete-2 that Briscoe had signed “a highly touted athlete preparing for a professional basketball draft [Athlete-6].” This was also untrue. Briscoe allegedly forged the signatures of Athlete-6 and Athlete-6’s mother on a player contract, which Briscoe then sent to Athlete-2. Briscoe used that assurance to persuade Athlete-2 to transfer $1 million to Briscoe as a supposed “loan” to Athlete-6 while this athlete prepared for the draft.
Separately on Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Cohen with misappropriating more than $1 million from three current and former NBA players from 2017 to 2020. As depicted by the SEC, Cohen used funds to “support his son’s amateur basketball program” and for a home gym, among other unauthorized purposes.
If these cases advance towards trials, the players’ identities could become known as they would be key witnesses and victims.