Sports marketing

Nashville-owner of alleged sports marketing agency facing federal charges in connection with Ponzi scheme

NASHVILLE – Katie Lynn Mancuso, 40, of Nashville, was charged today with bank fraud and wire fraud, stemming from a fraudulent scheme in which she received more than $2.8 million from investors, a announced Acting U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee. .

According to the charging document, Mancuso owned and operated Gray Area Marketing in Nashville, which was allegedly a sports marketing agency representing various famous athletes. As part of the fraudulent scheme and beginning in June 2017, Mancuso solicited funds from investors and falsely stated that Gray Area had obtained contracts to perform marketing services for professional athletes. Mancuso overstated Gray Area’s assets and claims and promised to repay the investor’s funds within 90 days and with a rate of return typically between 15% and 25%. Mancuso also provided investors with fake invoices that incorrectly reflected money owed to Gray Area by vendors including Nike, Oakley and Under Armor for services rendered.

During the scheme, Mancuso generated fraudulent invoices and emails to make his business appear legitimate. She also forged an attorney’s signature on a fraudulent attorney-client representation and forged another person’s signatures on an alleged contract.

Between June 2017 and February 2021, Mancuso solicited funding from at least 26 investors and received over $2.8 million. Although she reimbursed some investors using the funds of others, the total loss to investors amounted to more than $1.1 million. Mancuso used the investment funds to pay for his living expenses and in hotels, bars, and to get plastic surgery.

If convicted, Mancuso faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and up to 30 years in prison for bank fraud.

This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn W. Booth is prosecuting the case.

Accusations are just accusations. The accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.