According to a court filing and affidavit by the Attorneys of the marketing representative in federal court, Lee Anderson, Zion Williamson’s stepfather, solicited and took a payment of $400,000 in October 2018 which was before Zion Williamson’s only season while he was at Duke Blue Devils from a marketing agent. The exhibits, as well as the affidavit, proves that NBA star Zion Williamson, when he played for the Duke Blue Devils in 2018-19, was not eligible as a result of Lee Anderson, his stepfather, receiving unauthorized benefits from a Canadian marketing agent Slavko Duric.
New discovered evidence
“[We] obtained newly discovered evidence impacting the issue of whether Zion Williamson was a ‘student-athlete’ that we believe makes it transparently clear, verifiable and indisputable that he was not a ‘student-athlete’ long before there was any communication or contact between Zion Williamson, and any third party acting on his behalf, and our clients,” Ford’s attorney, Alvin Pittman, wrote in a letter to Williamson’s attorney on Monday.
“The alleged ‘agreements’ and driver’s license attached to these papers are fraudulent, and neither Mr. Williamson nor his family know these individuals nor had any dealings with them,” Williamson’s attorney, Jeffrey Klein, said in a statement to ESPN. “We had previously alerted Ms. Ford’s lawyers to both this fact and that we had previously reported the documents to law enforcement as forgeries, but they chose to go ahead with another frivolous filing anyway. This is a desperate and irresponsible attempt to smear Mr. Williamson at the very time he has the opportunity to live his dream of playing professional basketball.”
The court motion had attached some exhibits with an affidavit from Donald Kreiss inclusive. Donald Kreiss is an entrepreneur based in Los Angeles and claims to engage in deal-making, investing, and fundraising. According to Kreiss, a third party had introduced him to Slavko Duric, the Canadian marketing agent, and he agreed to invest in Maximum Management Group, Duric’s company, in exchange he gets a percentage of the money that is generated from their exclusive marketing agreement with Zion Williamson.
Donald Kreiss stated in the affidavit that right after NBA Superstar Zion Williamson had signed a contract with Creative Artists Agency (CAA) to take care of his marketing opportunities, he had an agreement with Lee Anderson, Zion Williamson’s stepfather, to “repay all monies given to his family in 2018 and pay us seven to ten million dollars.” Kreiss also states in the affidavit that Slavko Duric had to “shred” and existing record that was linked to the contract between Zion Williamson and Maximum Management Group as well as the payment of money.
Jeffrey Klein believes his clients were scammed
The exhibits also consisted of a hypothetical marketing agreement signed allegedly by Williamson and Lee Anderson with Maximum Management Group on May 2, 2019. There was also a purported letter of declaration where Lee Anderson and Zion Williamson had agreed to repay $500,000 to Slavko Duric from May 2, 2019, before January 7 “for repayment of a loan rendered by him to our family on October 10, 2018.”
Klein said in a letter he had sent to Pittman that results from Google search showed that Duric “purportedly attempted to defraud Dallas Mavericks player Luka Doncic using a scheme in which he forged Doncic’s and his mothers’ signatures on a contract.
“The signatures on the documents you attach are also clearly fraudulent,” Klein wrote in the letter. “The signature on the purported Agreement between Maximum Management Group and Mr. Williamson does not match Mr. Williamson’s signature on the Agreement he signed with your clients. And the signatures of Lee Anderson and Mr. Williamson on the Letter of Declaration are also inauthentic, as made clear by the fact that they are highly pixelated in comparison to the remainder of the document. There is a break in the line beneath the ‘Z’ in Mr. Williamson’s name, where the signature was superimposed onto the document.”
According to the letter, last month, Klein had received a letter from some other individual who might have also fallen victim to Mr. Slovka Duric’s scam, which included the same documents and allegations. Zion Williamson’s attorneys asked North Carolina federal judge to waiver the marketing agreement he had with Prime sports marketing and Ford, saying it was not valid mainly because Ford had not been registered as an agent at the time.