Sports agent denies charges

Sports promoter Eddie Rivera is entangled in a financial dispute with investors, and he shouldn’t have been charged with theft, his lawyer told a judge Tuesday.

Investigators are making more of the 31-year-old Mukilteo resident’s financial problems than they should, attorney Richard Hansen of Seattle said. The dispute is a civil matter, not a criminal case, he added.

"The biggest investors in this company are not complaining about this," Hansen said in court.

Hansen went before Everett District Court Judge Thomas Kelly on Tuesday when Rivera appeared on three counts of first-degree theft in connection with his sports promoting business, Sports Management International.

He is accused of using connections with some Seattle Mariners baseball players to attract investors, and then not providing services to a car dealership with which athletes had a promotional contract.

Some investors also complained that Rivera was spending company money on his personal expenses, including expensive cars.

Rivera, who is awaiting trial on nine previous theft charges, was being held on $150,000 bail on the theft investigation involving the Mariners. Kelly, however, reduced that to $50,000 Tuesday over deputy prosecutor Jim Townsend’s objections.

"He steals from everybody he’s in contact with," Townsend told the judge. "I have to applaud Mr. Rivera for ingenuity, but he’s going to continue stealing from everybody."

Townsend also said Mukilteo police charged Rivera in early November with fourth-degree assault for allegedly slapping his wife during an argument. Hansen told the judge that incident came at the height of the investigation in the face of much stress, and it has nothing to do with the charges. He asked for Rivera’s release from jail without having to post bail.

Hansen told the judge the whole thing is merely a dispute among business partners over how company money was spent. He said a friend of Rivera is willing to give the defendant a job in a car detailing business in Seattle.

Outside court, Hansen said Rivera intended no fraud, but the investigation and publicity surrounding it has killed his sports business.

"Eddie had the potential of becoming a big agent, and this destroyed that," Hansen said. "Eddie has a track record of making money with professional baseball players."

The lawyer claimed that the business fell apart when some of the investors had "buyers’ remorse."

On Monday, prosecutors filed a criminal complaint in Everett District Court charging Rivera with three counts of theft. One allegedly involved bilking a local auto dealership out of $70,000 that should have been used for advertising.

The second accused Rivera of receiving $61,000 to promote a new machine designed to teach players how to throw a baseball, and doing little or nothing to market it.

A third charge surrounded allegations that an investor was not paid back money on his $76,000 investment in Sports Management International.

Reporter Jim Haley: 425-339-3447 or haley@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

16,000 fentanyl pills, pounds of meth, heroin seized in bust

Eight suspects were indicted in U.S. District Court in Seattle, including five from Snohomish County.

Amethyst Skeels and Alexander Walsh pick out cannabis products at Kushman's Everett Cannabis Dispensary on Evergreen Way on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Cannabis sales surge, proving pot is pandemic-proof

There are more customers, and some regulars are stocking up — just in case there’s a shortage.

Controlled explosion rattles Cathcart and much of the county

Deputies were investigating a 19-year-old who had an “enormous amount of fireworks” near Silver Lake.

Police: Suspect in fatal hit-and-run may have used marijuana

The Lynnwood man allegedly didn’t stop to check on a pedestrian whom he hit with a pickup truck.

Lynnwood man in custody after pedestrian is killed in crash

The sheriff’s office said detectives are investigating the suspect for DUI, hit and run, and vehicular homicide.

Driver arrested after allegedly hitting woman in crosswalk

The suspect was driving an SUV on Highway 99 in Lynnwood and is under investigation for DUI.

Santa Claus is coming to town, despite the coronavirus

He’ll follow social distancing. In one setting, children are invited to “call out” their wishes.

Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney on July 29. (Sue Misao / Herald file)
Group behind sheriff recall fined for campaign violations

A panel levied a $300 fine on a group led by Snohomish County attorneys. Meanwhile, another recall effort fizzled.

The 2021 Historic Everett calendar focuses on the city’s railroad past, present and future. (Historic Everett, Jack O’Donnell collection photo)
A nostalgic glimpse at how trains shaped Everett

“There is a romance to it,” says a Historic Everett member who researched railroads for a 2021 calendar.

Most Read