In this year of massive financial scams, it's hard to grab notice for making off with just $25 million. Ken Jowdy knows how to grab a headline, though.
In a strange twist on Robin Hood, Jowdy is accused of stealing the money from 19 rich NHL players and using it to throw lavish parties attended by the also rich Roger Clemens, Reggie Jackson, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose. Oh, and porn stars, hookers and strippers, according to TMZ.com.
Jowdy threw the parties with the idea that the attendees would buy real estate at two golf course projects in Cabo San Lucas. That's what the NHLers -- including some former Rangers and Islanders -- thought they were investing in, but they are both seven years behind schedule and Jowdy defaulted on one of the properties. He also owes money to Phil Mickelson, who was supposed to design the golf course.
The New York Post reports that former Ranger and Islander Bryan Berard and former Islander Michael Peca each lost $700,000 in the deal, while former Ranger Matias Norstrom dropped $600,000. Those three and the other NHL players, including Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar, are suing Jowdy for $25 million.
"The only thing they have to show for it is sand on a beach in the middle of nowhere," the players' lawyer, Ronald Richards, told The Post.
Like any story involving Clemens these days, there's a role to play for Brian McNamee. Jowdy was hoping to get Clemens and the other baseball players to buy property at the sham resorts, so he hired McNamee as a fitness trainer, presumably to get closer to Clemens. He got close; the Post has a picture of Clemens and Jowdy ringing the bell of the New York Stock Exchange together, but never got any of his money. Same goes for the other players.
For his part, Morgan denies that he ever went to any of these parties. Anyone who has watched him call a game on Sunday Night Baseball knows that he sometimes has a very flexible memory of things that happened in the past, however.