Warrant: Former NCSU booster gave improper benefits to UNC student-athlete
Posted May 19
Updated May 20
Raleigh, N.C. — A former North Carolina State University football player currently under investigation for allegedly providing impermissible benefits to N.C. State student-athletes also provided impermissible benefits to a student-athlete at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, according to an application for a search warrant.
The state's investigation started back in 2013, about a month after WRAL News interviewed Eric Leak about his relationships with with local college athletes.
The warrant doesn't identify the UNC athlete he is accused of helping, but it does build a case that Leak stole money from former N.C. State football star David Amerson, who now plays for the NFL's Oakland Raiders. At the time of the theft, Leak and Amerson had a business partnership through Hot Shot Sports, a company that handled Amerson's finances during the playing season.
The warrant also says Leak stole money from former Greensboro high school football star and current San Diego Charger Keenan Allen. According to the documents, Leak stole approximately $500,000 from the two players.
Leak's attorneys, Kearns Davis and Hill Allen, released a statement on behalf of Leak Thursday saying, "We are working with authorities as they investigate and learn the facts. The Leaks look forward to completing that process and resolving the government's questions. Emily and Eric are grateful for the steadfast support and encouragement of friends, family and colleagues who know and love them."
Thursday's warrant is the latest in multiple ongoing investigations involving Leak, who played football for the Wolfpack in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
The federal government has linked Leak's $1.5 million home to suspected Medicaid fraud and believes Leak and his wife, Emily, should forfeit the property as a penalty.
The IRS claims the Leaks bought and renovated the house using money from a Medicaid fraud scheme.
Aside from putting down a $500,000 to buy the home, agents say the Leaks spent $38,000 to turn the attic into an exercise room and barber shop. They also paid more than $50,000 for an elaborate pool. Bank records show the renovations were paid for with money from the couple’s behavioral health counseling business, Nature's Reflections.
According to a 2015 search warrant for that business, employees claimed Leak told them to "write service notes for services not rendered." Nature's Reflections billed Medicaid for $8.7 million between 2012 and 2014, more than any other counseling agency of its kind in the state.
Eric Leak has also run afoul of NCAA and state policies that prohibit college athletes from accepting gifts or financial benefits from boosters.
In a 2015, federal investigators seized a high-end sports car that Leak helped purchase for N.C. State basketball player C.J. Leslie. Agents said the down payment for the car came from the counseling business.
State and federal agents have returned to the Leaks' property at 5022 Isabella Cannon Drive twice in recent weeks. Authorities involved in both raids declined to offer detail on what they were looking for, and Leak did not want to comment.
To date, no charges have been filed.