BALTIMORE - Former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis is suing his former attorney over a failed development project he says cost him $1.5 million.
Lewis last week filed a lawsuit in Baltimore City Circuit Court against Marc Seldin Rosen, who Lewis says tricked him into investing in the failed MVP Lanes entertainment complex after he agreed only to lend his "name and likeness" to the venture.
MVP lanes, which was announced in 2009, was a development project in Hunt Valley that was supposed to include a sports-themed bowling alley, restaurant, sports bar and a radio booth for doing live broadcasts. But due to financial issues the project never came to fruition — and now Lewis says he's owed a total of $1.7 million that he never intended to lend.
The suit accuses the Baltimore lawyer of convincing Lewis to sign a $1.5 million line of credit for the project, and later asking for another $200,000.
In the suit, Lewis said he offered only to allow Rosen, the project's managing partner, to use his name to drum up financing for the complex, and that Rosen assured him that his "own money would never be touched, and his involvement wouldn't cost him a thing." Additionally, the suit alleges that Rosen told Lewis that he "would personally and unconditionally guarantee Lewis against any and all financial losses related to the proposed transaction."
The suit says Rosen presented documents for Lewis to sign that the attorney didn't explain, and that Lewis is now responsible for paying back the loan.
The suit accuses Rosen of malpractice, fraud, breach of contract and other charges.
In a written statement, Rosen disputed the allegations.
"Once again, Ray Lewis is taking the innocent bystander approach, disclaiming responsibility, blaming others," Rosen said. "It will not work here. The facts are well documented."