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

Josh Otusanya, 27, former Lake Stevens high soccer star turned comedian, has 4.6 million followers on TikTok for his inspirational videos from his family's home. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
A funny local TikToker with 5M followers offers life hacks

Josh Otusanya, a Lake Stevens soccer star turned New York comedian, reinvented himself in his family’s basement.

Crews contracted by the Washington State Department of Transportation for pavement work on the U.S. 2 bridge over the Pilchuck River are set to close one lane this weekend to replace and install expansion joints. (WSDOT)
Backups likely during U.S. 2 bridge work near Snohomish

The Pilchuck River bridge east of Highway 9 will close to one lane with alternating traffic.

Deborah Rumbaugh (left), Jay Jordan (center) and John Boyd are finalists for the Stanwood School District's superintendent position.
Finalists for Stanwood schools chief are coming to town

Each will visit the district this week to meet staff and take part in a virtual community forum.

Herald Street Smarts columnist Ben Watanabe and Edmonds City Councilman Luke Distelhorst tour planned new bike lanes on Bowdoin Way on Tuesday morning in Edmonds. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Edmonds will add more bike lanes, reduce some street parking

The city will use a $1.85 million grant from Sound Transit to improve bicycle and pedestrian connections.

Jeffrey Phebus is sentenced to over 31 years in prison for the murder of his wife Rebecca Phebus, on Monday, May 10, 2021, at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
‘No words’: Arlington man sentenced for killing wife at work

Jeffery Phebus, 61, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder. He was sentenced to 31⅔ years in prison Monday.

Man dies after confrontation, shooting near Silver Lake

Everett police said he had been yelling and aggressive toward people on a sidewalk north of the lake.

The Coupeville-Port Townsend ferry route will only have one vessel until late June, Washington State Ferries announced after an engine fire on one vessel and ongoing crew shortages. (Emily Gilbert / Whidbey News-Times)
Coupeville ferry route down to one boat through June 27

Another delay in two-boat service means Coupeville ferry riders should expect long waits until June.

The design concept for the public plaza outside the Marysville's new civic center set to debut in spring 2022. (City of Marysville)
Former community hub in Marysville set for demolition

Built in 1949, the Ken Baxter Community Center will be removed to make way for the new civic center.

Volunteers from the Rotary Club of Arlington and local Cub Scouts planted trees at Stormwater Wetland Park on May 1. (City of Arlington)
Scouts, Rotarians collaborate to restore an Arlinton park

Rotary and Cub Scouts plant trees in Arlington Stormwater Wetland Park has… Continue reading

Most Read