The Securities and Exchange Commission* has accused former NFL cornerback Will Allen and a partner of running an approximately $31 million Ponzi scheme that lured in athletes from all four major American sports leagues. And as part of what will probably be an ongoing legal process, Allen and Susan Daub had to be served. It took three tries to serve Daub. Allen proved even trickier.

The charges were filed in a Boston federal court on April 1 but were under seal until this week. In between, an SEC paralegal emailed back and forth with a process server in Florida about Allen (those emails later were entered into court). The first email was to the server to let the company, A.C.E., Inc., know that weather had caused a delay in the box with the summons and complaint packages heading for South Florida, where Allen and Daub live. Here was the response:

That’s followed up by a second email from the process server with more details about the trouble with Allen.


Hey, those sound like some nice cars (maybe bought with Ponzi scheme money). The paralegal writes back.


They give it one more try.

So the government went to court and asked for permission to serve Allen via “alternate means, including email,” which was granted by Judge Indira Talwani. Allen’s far from the first person to conveniently not answer the door when a process server appears, which is why there’s a growing body of cases in which judges grant these exceptions. The docket doesn’t say if Allen was successfully served; the case was unsealed three days later.


Top image via Associated Press, all other images via court records