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Two charged in $2.2M scheme against Colts' Freeney

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A financial adviser for Indianapolis Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney and the adviser's lover have been arrested on federal wire fraud charges that allege they swindled about $2.2 million from the lineman.

Eva Weinberg, 48, of Los Angeles, and Michael Stern, 51, of Miami, were arrested last week by FBI agents who believe the couple were trying to flee the United States.

Stern appeared in a Miami courtroom Wednesday and will be extradited in the coming weeks to California, where he and Weinberg face charges.

"Mr. Stern denies he violated the law and it's his position he and Ms. Weinberg didn't steal any money from Mr. Freeney," said Stern's attorney, Henry Bell.

Weinberg has posted $225,000 bond. A phone message left for her attorney, Mark Byrne, was not immediately returned. Freeney was not available for comment, his publicist said.

An FBI affidavit only identified Freeney by his initials, but Bell confirmed that the perennial Pro Bowler was the purported victim.

Weinberg worked as Freeney's financial adviser for the past two years after leaving Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch financial management division. She handled his personal finances, real estate investments and business dealings involving a Hollywood restaurant, Rolling Stone LA.

About $2.2 million was wired in nearly 140 separate transactions from Freeney's bank account by Weinberg to Arm's Reach Consulting, a company owned by Stern, between June 2010 and October 2011, authorities said. Freeney didn't approve the transfers and was unaware Stern was the recipient.

Stern told a confidential informant in recorded conversations that the money transferred to him by Weinberg was to be used to pay his bills and personal expenses, according to the affidavit. He also said $1.5 million was going to be put toward buying a private jet, court records show.

The informant also told investigators that Stern intended to flee the U.S., possibly to the Bahamas, Trinidad or Israel, and had plans to travel to Los Angeles to get Weinberg before she was arrested.

Freeney, 32, has recorded 102-1/2 sacks in his 10-year professional career and is scheduled to make a base salary of $14 million in 2012.

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  1. If I were a developer I would be looking at the Fountain Square and Fletcher Place neighborhoods instead of Broad Ripple. I would avoid the dysfunctional BRVA with all of their headaches. It's like deciding between a Blackberry or an iPhone 5s smartphone. BR is greatly in need of updates. It has become stale and outdated. Whereas Fountain Square, Fletcher Place and Mass Ave have become the "new" Broad Ripples. Every time I see people on the strip in BR on the weekend I want to ask them, "How is it you are not familiar with Fountain Square or Mass Ave? You have choices and you choose BR?" Long vacant storefronts like the old Scholar's Inn Bake House and ZA, both on prominent corners, hurt the village's image. Many business on the strip could use updated facades. Cigarette butt covered sidewalks and graffiti covered walls don't help either. The whole strip just looks like it needs to be power washed. I know there is more to the BRV than the 700-1100 blocks of Broad Ripple Ave, but that is what people see when they think of BR. It will always be a nice place live, but is quickly becoming a not-so-nice place to visit.

  2. I sure hope so and would gladly join a law suit against them. They flat out rob people and their little punk scam artist telephone losers actually enjoy it. I would love to run into one of them some day!!

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