Rowland Perkins Link To Stock Fraud

J. Rowland Perkins II, one of the five founders of Creative Artists Agency, former Chicago Bears wide receiver Willie Gault and two others are accused of cooking the books of a heart-monitoring device company they operated.

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil suit accuses Gault, listed as co-CEO with Perkins of a company named Heart Tronics, of being nothing more than a “celebrity figurehead” for the company that allegedly filed inflated financial reports to bolster its stock price, according to Bloomberg.

Gault is also accused of diverting an investor’s money for personal use.

The SEC says the company was controlled by lawyer Michael Stein and that he, Gault, Perkins and Stein’s associate Martin B. Carter took in $8 million by trading stock between 2006 and 2008.

“Stein took advantage of Gault’s celebrity to further prop up the image of Heart Tronics as a successful enterprise,” SEC associate director Stephen L. Cohen told Bloomberg. “Stein secretly sold millions of dollars in stock while peddling false claims of Heart Tronics’ lucrative sales orders, and has been living the high life off his illicit proceeds with multiple homes, exotic cars and private jets.”

Gault and Perkins are accused of not providing fiduciary oversight for the company and of not questioning Stein’s actions, the lawsuit says.

Both men have stepped down from their executive positions.

The SEC seeks to permanently bar Stein, Perkins and Gault from holding any corporate positions, unspecified financial penalties and to have the investors’ funds returned.

Jared Scharf, an attorney who represents Gault, Perkins and Heart Tronics, said his clients deny the allegations.