A Madison County attorney alleges he was duped into providing a supposed sports agent with money for his new business venture.

In actuality, the man used the money for personal expenditures, according to a recently filed complaint.

Michael R. Bilbrey filed a lawsuit Nov. 14 in Madison County Circuit Court against Reginald Blackwell. In his complaint, Bilbrey alleges Blackwell approached him, promising to provide sports agent services to professional athletes.

"The plaintiff contributed substantial liquid capital to the LLC's bank account to fund the activities required in furtherance of the stated purpose of the LLC," the suit states. "The plaintiff's willingness to contribute the aforementioned capital was based entirely on defendant's statements regarding the number and identity of clients and the projected income from those purported clients."

After investing the proposed company, Bilbrey allegedly learned that Blackwell was not a certified agent. In fact, Blackwell had lost his certification and was not able to represent the athletes as he promised, according to the complaint.

Blackwell utilized Bilbrey's money for his own personal expenditures, the suit states.

Blackwell breached his fiduciary duty by failing to produce copies of any valid representation agreements and by intentionally providing false or misleading information to Bilbrey, the complaint says. He also committed common law fraud, Bilbrey alleges.

In his three-count complaint, Bilbrey seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus punitive damages, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Attorneys Mark C. Goldenberg and Holly A. Reese, of Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland in Edwardsville, will represent Bilbrey.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 14-L-1559.

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