NEW ORLEANS — The agent for former Saints Hall of Fame defensive lineman Frank Warren must appear in U.S. District Court on June 4 to answer charges that he defrauded Warren’s widow and family out of more than half of a $1 million trust fund.
According to a bill of information filed last Friday, Benjamin Geller of Austin, Texas, was the agent for Warren in 1994 when he assisted Warren, then in the last of his 13 seasons with the Saints, in purchasing a life insurance policy worth approximately $1 million.
The policy was designed to fund a trust for Warren’s family with Geller named the trustee. Warren died in 2002 at age 43 after suffering a heart attack.
Under the terms of trust, Geller was only permitted to expend the funds to the family and not for his personal use.
However, in 2009, Warren’s widow, Terrell Warren, became concerned when the disbursements became lower than in previous years.
The court documents assert that between 2003 and 2007 Geller diverted more than $500,000 from the policy for his personal use while misrepresenting to Terrell Warren that the trust fund were intact when actually they were not.
If he is convicted for the wire fraud count against him, Geller faces a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment, three years supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
Warren was the Saints’ third-round draft pick out of Auburn in 1981. He battled drug and weight problems throughout his career and was suspended for the 1990 season for drug violations.
Shortly before his death, Warren appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports” and discussed obesity problems among NFL linemen.