LITTLE ROCK -- A Mississippi man who owns an American
Basketball Association franchise he says will be located at Little
Rock faces a trial Monday on federal fraud charges in Memphis,
ABA co-founder Joe Newman said Tuesday the expansion team will
play at Barton Coliseum. Franchise owner Dwan Andre Brown, 32, of
Oxford, Miss., said the team, which is expected to be made up of
former NCAA Division I and NBA players, would be called the
Brown said Thursday he was the man named in 82 counts of fraud
in three separate criminal cases in indictments handed up by a
federal grand jury at Memphis. The charges accuse him of
conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud in what the
indictments say was a scheme to inflate values of real estate
before it was resold.
"I'm an innocent man," Brown told the Arkansas
Democrat-Gazette on Thursday. "People may use this as an excuse
not to support me, but so be it. I will be acquitted of these
Newman said he was unaware of the charges against Brown until
contacted by a reporter Thursday.
"We're terribly disappointed," Newman said. "If this is true,
Dwan Brown will not be an ABA franchise owner."