Just over a week after having his coming out party in Super Bowl 50, Carolina Panthers defensive end Kony Ealy is making news for all the wrong reasons.
The former second-round pick from Missouri is being named in a fraud lawsuit involving dog breeding and an alleged theft of $3,000 in cold hard cash.
According to The Charlotte Observer, local sports bar owner Kris Johnson filed a lawsuit in civil court against Ealy and his brother, Danny “Dogman” Jones.
The suit alleges that Ealy and his brother approached Johnson to invest in a business plan to breed and sell a specific type of dog breed, the African Boerboel.
The two men allegedly promised that one litter of these rare dogs, which can weigh up to 200 pounds, would clear $35,000 with an entire year of breeding earning the trio over $1 million.
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Johnson apparently wasn’t too keen on the idea, but still cut a check for $3,000 in order to get in on the action.
Since then, no dogs have been bred and the Ealy brothers have allegedly avoided calls from Johnson.
Wanting his $3,000 initial investment back, Johnson was forced to take the Panthers defensive end and his brother to civil court.
The story gets even stranger from there.
Johnson indicated to The Observer that Ealy’s brother’s nickname dates back to an earlier time when he was involved in some underhanded dealings with the Black Mafia Family in St. Louis — dealings that included the selling of both bulldogs and cocaine.
Johnson’s past is recounted in this book, which Johnson said he read after giving his initial investment in the scheme.
Ealy himself couldn’t be reached for comments, but his attorney did tell The Observer that the brothers will “dispute the allegations.”