Jake Peavy, the 35-year-old pitcher for the Giants, has had a difficult spring on — and relatedly — off the mound. He's 2 and 6, for the record, and usually much more reliable. At issue: In Dallas, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced a lawsuit in US District Court against Ash Narayan, a financial advisor to Peavy as well as retired pitcher Roy Oswalt and Denver Broncos quarterback Mark Sanchez. He was a bad advisor! As CBS 5 and the AP report, the SEC's filings claim that Narayan made $33 million transferring the three athletes' money to an ailing online sports and entertainment ticket business, the Ticket Reserve Inc.. on whose board he served, and he may have also pocketed $2 million in fees. Narayan's assets have been frozen.
The Mercury News makes note that Narayan gained the athletes' confidence through purportedly shared Christian beliefs and mutual interest in charitable works. However, Narayan allegedly hid his multiple conflicts of interest from his clients. The Associated Press observes that Peavy and Sanchez claim he may have gone so far as to forge their signatures, adding that while Narayan appeared to pass himself off as a Certified Public Accountant he held no such qualification per the SEC.
Peavy met Narayan through a teammate sometime early in his career around 2004. “My agent received my paychecks, paid bills for my family and me, and sent a stipend to my personal bank account,” reads a statement issued by the player. “My agent transferred all remaining funds to a brokerage account to be invested at Narayan’s direction.”
Peavy had instructed Narayan to make “conservative, low-risk investments" and, the investor had informed him that he was near his goal of $20 million in retirement funds. In fact, as Peavy claims to the SEC, Narayan had “invested approximately $15 million of my funds in [The Ticket Reserve] without my authorization... I have yet to receive a return of any of my funds used to invest in TTR.” SEC documents also claim that Narayan took a $500,000 bank loan out under Peavy's name.
“I think I did the best I could to stay focused,” Peavy told the San Francisco Chronicle of his current athletic efforts. “Maybe at times I haven’t done my best, but I think the last month is indicative of what I can do to help this team. I’m doing what I can to push the needle forward." Peavy reportedly learned of the losses on the first day of the team's spring training.
"Mr. Narayan has always sought to act in his clients’ best interests," the investor's attorney claims. "Accordingly, he will continue to work with the SEC to ensure that this matter is resolved in the most favorable manner for those clients.” Narayan operated from Irvine, California under the auspices of RGT Wealth Advisors. That firm fired him earlier this year after his alleged actions came to light. Their statement: “We are outraged by this conduct, and are working hard to try to recoup invested funds for the clients involved."
Peavy is in his final contracted year with the Giants, for which he will be compensated an estimated $15 million. He has earned an estimated $112 million over the course of his career to date.