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fraud alert

A federal judge today ordered a temporary asset freeze in a case involving a former Detroit Lions receiver accused of helping to bilk public pension funds in Detroit and Pontiac.

“It appears that an immediate order … is appropriate to protect the investing public,” U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood said.

She also set a May 11 hearing date on a request from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a preliminary injunction.

A civil lawsuit filed by the SEC on Thursday accuses investment adviser Roy Dixon, Jr. and his company Onyx Capital Advisers LLC of bilking two city of Detroit pension funds and one in Pontiac of more than $3.11 million.

Mike Farr, a former Detroit Lions receiver and the son of Lions great and “Mel Farr Superstar” car dealer Mel Farr Sr., is accused of helping Dixon.

Farr, who like Dixon lives in Atlanta, is president and CEO of Second Chance Motors Inc. The complaint filed by the SEC said that about 80 percent of $23.8 million invested by the three pension funds was put into Second Chance and other companies controlled by Farr.

The judge ordered Onyx to give a financial accounting and not to destroy records.

The city General Retirement System and Police and Fire Retirement System each agreed to invest $10 million with Onyx in 2007, while the Pontiac General Retirement System agreed to invest $5 million.

Sheila Kneeshaw, chairwoman of the Detroit General Retirement System board, issued a statement saying the fund “will cooperate with the SEC investigation into the alleged scheme to defraud our public pension fund.

“Given that this is an ongoing investigation, we can make no further comment.”

Attorneys for Dixon and Farr have not returned calls.

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