SEC Requests Seizure of Super Bowl Ring
On June 10, 2016, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission asked a California court for permission to seize former NFL player Willie Gault’s Super Bowl ring. Gault, who helped the Chicago Bears win Super Bowl XX in 1986, agreed to pay $206,571 in April of 2015 for his role in inflating the stock of heart-monitoring device maker Heart Tronics, Inc., where he served as co-chief executive officer.
The SEC is asking for Gault’s ring to help satisfy the settlement, which consists of a $78,000 civil fine, $101,000 in ill-gotten gains, and $27,571 in interest. While Gault claims the estimated value of the ring to be $5,000, the SEC plans to list the ring at auction for $40,000 with hopes of making more. Gault agreed to a ban from being an officer or director of public companies as part of the settlement agreement.
In March of 2015, Gault was cleared of accusations that he intentionally defrauded investors in a stock inflation scheme perpetrated by Mitchell Stein, the former outside counsel for Heart Tronics. Stein was convicted of securities fraud in 2013 and later sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Although cleared of the most serious accusations, Gault was found liable for filing false certifications with the SEC in violation of the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley law, knowingly circumventing Heart Tronics’ internal controls, and misappropriating $101,000 given to the company by investor Robert Kolinek.