Reggie Bush investigation documents
By Yahoo! Sports Staff
January 10, 2008
The following are documents that Yahoo! Sports attained during its investigation of Reggie Bush and his family for alleged improper benefits from New Era Sports & Entertainment.
This is the deed listing Bush’s former family home in the name of New Era financier Michael Michaels. Michaels purchased the home on March 29, 2005, and the Bush family moved in shortly thereafter. The Bush family was finally evicted from the home in April of 2006.
This document was required by the Venetian Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas, allowing Reggie Bush to charge room expenses to the credit card of New Era Sports & Entertainment financier Michael Michaels (aka Michael Pettiford). Bush charged $623.63 during his two-night stay and signed for the charges on Michaels' credit card.
These are the detailed charges incurred by Bush during his two-night stay at the Venetian Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. All of the charges were paid on Michael Michaels' credit card and signed for by Bush.
This is the document Reggie Bush signed when he checked into the Venetian Hotel and Resort for a two-night stay charged to the credit card of Michael Michaels. Bush's signature is at the bottom of the receipt. The top and bottom of the signature are cut off because the Venetian uses an electronic sign-in pad at its hotel. A Venetian employee said Bush was required to provide a photo ID when he checked in at the hotel. The stay cost $623.63.
This is the photo from DUB magazine featuring Bush sitting on the hood of the Chevrolet Impala that was purchased for him by New Era Sports financiers. The car was bought in approximately the spring of 2005.
This is the Southwest Airlines receipt for plane tickets purchased for Reggie Bush's mother, stepfather and brother. The flight was used to transport Bush's family to the Nov. 12, 2005 USC-Cal game. The flights were charged to the American Express credit card of Jamie Fritz, an employee of Bush's eventual marketing agent, Mike Ornstein. Ornstein was competing with New Era Sports & Entertainment to represent Bush. In fact, Bush had served as an intern at Ornstein's business in the summer of 2005, months before this trip. The internship had been approved by officials at USC.
This is the Southwest Airlines receipt for a plane ticket purchased for Mike Ornstein, Reggie Bush's eventual marketing agent. Ornstein traveled to Bush's preseason game against Tennessee on August 13, 2006. The American Express credit card used to pay for the trip belongs to Jamie Fritz, an Ornstein employee. It is the same card used to purchase flights for the family of the USC running back while he was playing for the Trojans.
This is an outline for the New Era Sports business plan, laid out by financier Michael Michaels. It was distributed to key New Era officers on Nov. 14, 2005, more than six weeks before Reggie Bush's junior season came to a close. Under "Key Personnel," it lists Bush's stepfather, LaMar Griffin.
This is the complete brochure produced for Reggie Bush and his family, touting New Era Sports. On Dec. 2, 2005 – prior to the conclusion of Bush's junior season at USC – Bush's stepfather LaMar Griffin showed a copy of this brochure to a reporter for the San Diego Union Tribune. The Union-Tribune reported that Griffin called New Era "a new company opening. They sent me a brochure. They're here in San Diego." Ironically, Griffin produced the brochure while he and the reporter were sitting inside the Bush family's Spring Valley home – which was owned by New Era financier Michael Michaels. This incident also took place two weeks after Michaels had sent out the New Era Sports business plan to various company employees, and listed Griffin under "Key Personnel" for New Era Sports.
This is the plan for the Reggie Bush Celebrity Golf Classic, presented to the Sycuan Indian Tribe six weeks before Bush's final college game.
This is the list of players New Era was recruiting in the fall of 2005.
This is the godaddy.com registration page for the New Era Sports Web site. Agent David Caravantes is listed as both the administrative and technical contact.
This is the reply from agent David Caravantes' solicitation of marketing deals for Reggie Bush on behalf of New Era Sports. This is a reply from Image Sports & Entertainment, whom Caravantes had contacted to handle Bush's memorabilia deals. ISE once represented Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. Former ISE President Michael Radcliffe would later tell Yahoo! Sports that New Era Sports "came across stating that a relationship with the mother of Reggie Bush was close knit, and wanted to grow the future of Reggie and that they had the deal done with him."
By December, agent David Caravantes was acting as the lead agent for New Era Sports & Entertainment and was soliciting services on Reggie Bush's behalf. This is a reply from Mercury Sports Management regarding possibly handling the marketing services for Bush. When contacted by Yahoo! Sports, Mercury Sports Management president Jay Schulthess denied any knowledge of this letter.
This is an email from the business account of Mercury Sports Management president Jay Schulthess to agent David Caravanates, who was soliciting deals on behalf of Bush by December of the USC star's junior year. Schulthess denied ever being involved with New Era Sports or Reggie Bush, and said he had no knowledge of this email.
In this email exchange, taking place several days after Bush had signed with contract agent Joel Segal, the key players in New Era Sports & Entertainment began to scramble. Reading from the bottom up, agent David Caravantes mentions flying to Texas to sign New Era recruit Frostee Rucker, while New Era financier Michael Michaels contemplates what the agency could look like without Bush as one of its clients. Later in the week, Caravantes asks whether the agency is going forward, while also mentioning mounting financial problems and that New Era employee Matt Cohen was "getting kick(ed) out of his place because he has not been paid correctly." Michaels states that New Era Sports was going forward and asked Caravantes to provide new financial projections for the agency.
In this email, New Era Sports & Entertainment financier Michael Michaels introduces attorney Brian Watkins to New Era agent David Caravantes and Scott Matthews, a Hollywood consultant who was brought aboard after Bush spurned the agency. In the email, Michaels mentions Bush by his initials, stating to the group, "I need your coordinated, professional assistance with this RB thing." The U.S. Grant litigation Michaels refers to related to the Sycuan Tribe and did not involve New Era.
With New Era Sports & Entertainment floundering and on the verge of dissolving, agent David Caravantes emails financier Michael Michaels, complaining that he and New Era employee Matt Cohen hadn't been paid in months. In his response, Michaels complains that fellow New Era financier Lloyd Lake "compromised some good situations." Sources said Michaels was referring to Lake's meddling in the personal affairs of Bush's family, which Michaels believed had ultimately scuttled the running back's commitment to the agency. Michaels once again mentions Bush by name, stating "I'm out over $200k CASH with these damn guys! I trusted him (Lake) and I trusted Reggie. Now they're both acting like idiots." In lieu of New Era's failing finances, Michaels mentions that he and Caravantes could meet with two members of the Sycaun Tribal council – chairman Daniel Tucker and treasurer Glenn Quiroga – to discuss the venture again. He also mentions contacting two attorneys who had consulted New Era: Kam Li and Fred Taylor.
Shortly after Bush signed with marketing agent Mike Ornstein and contract agent Joel Segal, New Era Sports & Entertainment financiers Michael Michaels and Lloyd Lake retained the services of attorney Brian Watkins. After attempting a settlement over the phone with Bush's attorney, David Cornwell, Watkins sent this letter. Watkins later told Yahoo! Sports that Cornwell had requested the letter as a "starting point" for settlement negotiations, and said the $3.2 million figure in the letter included possible punitive damages if the matter went to trial. Cornwell refused, and later pointed to the letter as proof of an attempt at extortion.
This is the subpoena served to Barbara Gunner, the mother of New Era Sports & Entertainment financier Lloyd Lake. It was served shortly after Bush's attorney, David Cornwell, contacted FBI officials claiming Bush and his family were being extorted by Lake. The subpoena ordered Gunner to appear before a grand jury and to bring "any recordings in your possession of conversations between Lloyd Lake and Reggie Bush, Denise Griffin or Lamar Griffin." Gunner didn't have the recordings in her possession. The FBI later declined to move on the extortion claims after listening to Gunner's sworn testimony. Lake's former girlfriend Maiesha Jones also testified before the grand jury.
Updated on Thursday, Jan 10, 2008 7:43 pm, EST