The Boerboel, a.k.a the South African Mastiff, is one of the biggest dog breeds in the world. Adults can top 200 pounds, and they were bred to guard farms and diamond mines down in South Africa. Look at this huge pup. His head’s the size of a dang Mini Cooper.

Anyway, according to a report from the Charlotte Observer, Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy has been sued by the former owner of a Charlotte-area sports bar owner for running a dog fraud scheme centered around breeding and selling Boerboel puppies. Because of their size, skill, and rarity, the puppies are pretty expensive. Ealy and his brother allegedly approached Kris Johnson outside of his home and asked him for a dog investment:

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Johnson says he was cutting the grass in front of an $800,000 south Charlotte home he was trying to sell when “two big dudes” walked up wanting to look inside. It turns out Ealy lived nearby.

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Soon, the three men began spending time together, and Johnson says he introduced Ealy and Jones to his business connections and friends. All the while, he claims the pair were pressuring him to invest in their plans to breed and sell Boerboels, which can weigh more than 200 pounds. They told him many Panthers players were eager to buy a pup, and that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police planned to use the dog exclusively. They promised their business would clear $35,000 a litter and more than $1 million a year.

All they needed, the suit says, was $6,000 from Johnson for a breeding female.

Johnson gave them $3,000 and he hasn’t heard from them since (the investment allegedly came in July), so he’s filed suit. Ealy has denied the allegations through his lawyer. Ealy’s brother Danny “Dogman” Jones apparently has a history as a dog salesman for powerful people:

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In the meantime, he learned how Dogman got his name. According to a book that Johnson says he read only after he wrote the check, Jones sold bulldogs to the godfathers of the “Black Mafia Family” in St. Louis, later expanding his business model to include cocaine. He got out after being shot 17 times and left for dead.

Photo via Getty