Ex-Vikings, AAF Investor Pleads Guilty in $600M Crypto Scheme

    • A former investor in the Minnesota Vikings and the now-defunct Alliance of American Football has pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court.
    • Reginald Fowler pleaded guilty to chargers related to a $600 million cryptocurrency scheme.

A former investor in the Minnesota Vikings and the now-defunct Alliance of American Football has pleaded guilty to charges related to a $600 million cryptocurrency scheme. 

Reginald Fowler has entered an “open plea” in Manhattan federal court. Fowler will plead guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business.

Prosecutors alleged that he facilitated unregulated transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of several cryptocurrency exchanges, telling banks they would process as real estate transactions.

Fowler, who once attended training camp with the Cincinnati Bengals and played in the USFL, attempted to buy a stake in the AAF using illegally obtained funds, which contributed to the league shuttering operations in April 2019, before its first season ended.

  • Fowler originally committed $170 million to the AAF in 2019, per Action Network.
  • He later invested just $28 million in the league before it ceased operations. 

Fowler initially planned to plead not guilty following his arrest in April 2019 but changed his stance after facing a maximum of 90 years in prison. He later rescinded an offer in January 2020 from prosecutors that included a guilty plea to a single count, but required him to forfeit up to $371 million. 

After Fowler refused to accept the deal, federal authorities added more charges.

NFL Ownership

Fowler attempted to acquire the Vikings for $600 million in 2005 but failed to provide the necessary capital. Fowler later settled for a minority stake in the team, which he relinquished in 2014.