Criminal Justice

Florida lawyer is charged with trying to extort NFL player

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The managing partner of the South Florida law firm Ford, Dean & Rotundo has been charged with asking a former NFL player to pay off his clients to change their testimony in a robbery case.

Lawyer William A. Dean, 50, of North Miami Beach was charged Monday, according to a press release by the Broward County, Florida, sheriff’s office.

The Daily Business Review, the New York Times and the Miami Herald have coverage.

Dean represented three of four men who accused former New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar of robbing them at gunpoint during a cookout. The three clients said they were robbed of cash and jewelry for a total loss of $70,000. They gave a statement to police and filed a lawsuit.

Baker was released by his team in September, a month after he was charged with armed robbery and assault. Charges were dropped Monday. Charges against Dunbar had been dropped in August.

Dean allegedly wanted Baker to pay each of his clients more than $266,000. In exchange, the clients would stop cooperating or change their initial statements to police, according to the sheriff’s office. Dean is accused of telling Baker’s lawyer that his clients would do “anything you want, so long as the money is right.”

Baker’s lawyer, Bradford Cohen, told the New York Times that Dean had originally sought $1.5 million.

“I hope the NFL will look at this case and let cases play out before they decide to suspend a player,” Cohen said.

The Kansas City Chiefs reportedly plan to sign Baker.

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