David Salinas, the well-known member of a ponzi scheme that committed suicide during an investigation earlier this year, affected quite a few athletes and coaches while acting as a financial adviser. The latest news indicates that his ponzi scheme may have also cost the Houston Cougars quite a bit as well, apparently, as nearly 40 percent of the school's claimable assets may have been tied up in accounts related to Salinas.
The Houston Athletics Foundation, a foundation that provides scholarships for the school's athletes, may have lost more than $2 million according to a report from the Associated Press.
More than $2.2 million of the nearly $5.1 million in assets listed by the foundation in its most recent filing with the Internal Revenue Service were invested in bonds that the Securities and Exchange Commission claims never existed. The foundation's losses are among the most notable in a scheme that allegedly defrauded more than 100 investors of $39 million, including millions of dollars from several high-profile college coaches.
"We were tricked like everybody else," said Matthew Houston, the foundation's current treasurer.
Fortunately, the majority of the money tied up in the apparent fraudulent bonds was not earmarked to go to athletes -- and that that was will be still be paid, according to the school's athletic director.
Houston said the foundation has decided to collect dues from board members to ensure the university receives the roughly $250,000 the group usually sends annually to fund athletic scholarships.
Houston athletic director Mack Rhoades said he still anticipates a reduction of some sort, but the money is a relatively small percentage of the $3 million the school raises annually for that purpose.
For more on David Salinas, continue to follow this storystream.