Reggie Fowler, the former NFL team owner and alleged “shadow banker” who could face up to 30 years in prison, has asked the Southern District of New York for a six-month reprieve.
Technically, it was Fowler’s lawyer, Ed Sapone, who requested the “unusually long adjournment”, citing his “serious health condition” as well as the need to obtain information relevant to the case from financial institutions, entities and individuals based in Europe.
According to independent journalist Amy Castor, who reported this development, Sapone filed his plea on Saturday — three days before his scheduled sentencing. Because prosecutors did not object to the adjournment, it will give Fowler at least six months of freedom. He is now living in Arizona on bail.
The accused is a 63-year-old man running a shadow bank to the crypto sector, Crypto capital, which was at the center of a lawsuit against iFinex Inc — the parent company of crypto exchange Bitfinex and stablecoin issuer Tether. US prosecutors allege that Fowler provided unlicensed money transfer services to several crypto firms along with bank fraud and money laundering on behalf of Colombian drug cartels.
The case against Bitfinex and Tether, in which iFinex was accused of commingling funds between the two firms to cover the $850 million loss that Bitfinex suffered while trading with Crypto Capital, was settled in February 2022. The companies were ordered to pay $18.5 million in civil penalties and cease business operations in New York.
Fowler though he refused to plead guilty store until 2020, but surprisingly he entered that in April 2022. According to Castor, the turnaround can be explained by financial reasons – due to the absence of timely payments, Fowler’s original legal team was reduced to one lawyer, and the court hearing would require significant funds to cover his work.