The Kissimmee company whose owner sits in jail, accused of a multimillion-dollar real-estate fraud, misused its corporate sponsorship of the Orlando Magic to lure local investors to some of its sales presentations, Magic officials and others say.
Main Street USA Inc. mailed fliers to area residents earlier this year extending an invitation from the Magic, “in association with” the company, to investment seminars at RDV Sportsplex, the basketball team’s training center and executive offices in Maitland. Drawn by the offer of a free dinner, prospective investors watched a video introduction by Magic coach Brian Hill and were rewarded with lower-bowl tickets to upcoming Magic games.
After hearing the sales pitch, at least some of those who attended the June dinners declined to invest in Main Street USA, having decided that it all sounded too good to be true. They were right
The Magic say the team’s marketing agreement with Main Street USA did not include any team association with the company’s investments. Hill’s videotaped appearance was a standard perk offered corporate sponsors, the team said. And the company’s sponsorship was terminated, team officials say, after they discovered that Main Street USA had used the Magic’s name and logo in promotional material without their approval.
Aleem Hussain (above, middle), Main Street’s majority owner, was arrested in October by the FBI and later indicted on 23 counts of mail fraud. He is now in the Seminole County Jail, accused of taking more than $8.9 million from more than 100 investors for his failed real-estate schemes. And the company has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The Magic’s marketing agreement with Hussain’s company was just one of hundreds of corporate sponsorships the National Basketball Association franchise has signed with area businesses during the past 18 years — but according to one team executive, the only one in memory to generate such a problem.
Main Street USA, the team says, still owes the Magic more than $23,000 under the terms of their marketing agreement.
Hussain, 42, and his company were promoting investments in a southwest Orlando condominium conversion and a real-estate investment trust that promised returns ranging from 14 percent to more than 30 percent, authorities say. Investors also were told, falsely, that their money would be federally insured against loss.
Hussain, who lives in south Orange County, was arrested last month at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as he waited to catch a flight to Costa Rica.