UM INVESTIGATION

Bank account of ex-UM coach Frank Haith may have been accessed illegally amid investigation

 

Former UM basketball coach Frank Haith filed a petition to find out if his bank account was breached during the Nevin Shapiro probe.

mkaufman@MiamiHerald.com

Former University of Miami basketball coach Frank Haith on Monday morning filed a petition in Miami-Dade federal court seeking subpoenas to try to uncover whether his checking account records were accessed illegally by unauthorized parties as part of the NCAA Nevin Shapiro investigation.

He and his attorney, Michael Buckner, want to be able to depose Bank of America employees and make sure the bank preserves evidence in anticipation of a civil lawsuit.

The Rule 27 Petition, obtained by The Miami Herald, states that in October 2012, Haith and his wife, Pamela, became suspicious of a possible privacy breach and have tried unsuccessfully to resolve the issue through repeated requests to the bank. If a Bank of America employee or agent permitted an unknown party to view or procure the records, it could be a violation of federal and state laws.

Haith, now at the University of Missouri, had been asked by the NCAA to provide microfiche copies of three checks dated June 10, 2010. He had already provided photocopies of those checks, and other financial documents, in October 2011, but the NCAA wanted clearer images. Each check was for $3,200 andmade out to his assistant coaches — Jorge Fernandez, Jake Morton and Michael Schwartz.

Haith was told by the NCAA enforcement staff during a Sept. 5, 2012, interview in Kansas City, Mo., that the three checks were cashed by his assistants at the Bank of America branch across the street from the UM campus.

Haith has said the payments were for his coaches’ work at his summer camps.

Shapiro, the imprisoned former UM booster, claims he paid Morton $10,000 to help recruit DeQuan Jones and that Morton later repaid him the money. The NCAA is investigating whether the three $3,200 checks were used to repay Shapiro.

According to the petition:

“The [NCAA] enforcement staff contended the funds were used by an assistant coach to repay a booster.

“The enforcement staff theorized the loan from the booster was used by the men’s basketball staff to secure a high-profile recruit’s commitment to attend the University of Miami. Mr. Haith denied, and continues to deny, the enforcement staff’s theory.”

When Pamela Haith, the coach’s wife, contacted the bank on or about Oct. 22, 2012, to request microfiche copies, she was told that “an unknown person may have viewed, ordered or was provided access” to those records, including, but not limited to the three checks requested by the NCAA. The Haiths later learned their account had been flagged by Bank of America as a result of the suspicious access.

Buckner, Haith’s attorney, also suggested that some of the information the NCAA enforcement staff knew about the checks could only have been known if they had microfiche copies.

The NCAA has been heavily criticized for its mishandling of the UM case. Buckner stressed that this petition is against the bank, not the NCAA.

“I want to make clear we have no evidence against the NCAA or anyone else outside the bank,” Buckner said.

“We filed this petition against the bank so that we can talk to witnesses and get the information we need to determine if anybody other than the Haiths had access to those checking account records. If we find out they did, we will sue. That breach would be a violation of federal law.”

Buckner said he expects a hearing regarding the Haiths’ petition will be held in U.S. District Court in about a month.

Read more UM stories from the Miami Herald

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