HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Kenneth Darby made his name on the field for Alabama. He would make that name into a brief NFL career. And he would try to turn that into an investment in his family's future by investing money through a man named Keith Rogers.
Now, Rogers faces prison time for securities fraud. He has changed his plea to guilty in his criminal case. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
It wasn't just Darby's money; there were multiple victims.
Alabama Securities Commission Director Joseph Borg says, "In Mr. Rogers' case, he did it to the tune of well over $2 million."
Darby, through sweat and grit, muscled his way to the University of Alabama from Butler High. He pushed his way into the NFL.
And for all his effort, court records show he was left with nothing.
Now for Rogers, Borg tells us, "We've recommended and are seeking a ten-year prison sentence."
Court records show Rogers used a legitimate position with an investment firm to build trust, then diverted funds to a company he owned, but did not disclose.
As for the stolen savings, Borg says, "A lot of it was for personal use, including building a residence, a lake home, and some cars and watercraft."
Before sentencing, comes restitution; some money will come back to the victims who filled the pages upon pages of complaints against Rogers.
"In this particular case though," Borg notes, "arrangements have been made to sell a residence, lake home, other assets, so there will be some recovery. Not going to tell you there's going to be 100% recovery, because a lot of money was used personally."
If these crimes make you nervous about investing, Borg advises, "The first thing, most of the crimes we see involving investments are unlicensed and unregistered. "
The Alabama Securities Commission can help protect you from that by checking licenses for you. Though you should remember, it won't protect against all theft. It wouldn't have stopped Rogers.
Borg admits, "Even with the best licensing and registration, that doesn't mean someone won't go rogue or scam or steal money at a later date."
The other big thing that you can do to protect yourself is to go over any investment statements closely.
If you'd like to check on a license with the Alabama Securities Commission, they will run that check for free at 1-800-222-1253.