Antonio Brown’s Dubai Body Double, Antonio El-Allah Express, Apparently Owns Albany Empire | But Who Is He Really? AB Says “That’s A Good Question”

Antonio Brown is an enigma to many, whether on or off the field, and now, as a sports team owner, questions have arisen regarding his newest enterprise. Much of the speculation began when a security guard working at MVP Stadium confronted him on the field where the Albany Empire plays. The guard attempted to escort him off the field and verbally said Brown wasn’t the owner.

Then, on a different day, Brown allegedly locked out specific players of the Albany Empire from their hotel rooms and made “violent threats’ to them. Empire head coach Damon Ware and quarterback Sam Castronova both alleged that they’d been ostracized from other organization members after speaking out against their new team owner in Brown. It was also alleged that AB had not paid his players since April 21.

Amid all this, he was hit with a warrant for unpaid child support, reportedly for $30,000. Brown viewed the accusation as the consequence of fame and his Arena Football team ownership stake.

“Yeah, well, first off, anytime you say a guy own a team, there’s going to be some garnish in the wages, but let’s get this clear, I paid my bills, I’m a professional,” AB said to Sports Illustrated. “It’s about running the Empire and running the business. We don’t need negativity on my name. It’s bigger than me.”

Further reports show that the name of the owner of the majority stake in the Albany Empire is not Antonio Brown but Antonio El-Allah Express Trust Enterprise.

This Is When It Really Gets Interesting

Per documents provided to the Times Union by AB’s camp, the team is owned by Antonio El-Allah Express Trust Enterprise. Brown has no personal ownership or control over the team. However, he previously has said publicly, “I’m the owner, 100 percent owner,” before he doubled his initial 47.5 percent stake to become the 95 percent owner. Then there is the more obvious question: who is Antonio El-Allah, and are AB and that person the same?

Antonio El-Allah Express Trust Enterprise is the domestic arm of another entity, Antonio El-Allah Express Trust, without the word “Enterprise” at the end, per the Times Union. On the night of Monday, May 3, a lawyer named Marlon Oliveira said in a phone call to Empire team president Alberony Denis that a foreign citizen named Antonio El-Allah is the trustee.

Per the Times-Union, Denis said that both he and Brown are representatives of Antonio El-Allah Express Trust Enterprise. However, Denis also said he does not act independently, clouding the scope of his power versus Brown’s.

Then a letter was sent from AB to team president Denis.

“I Brown, Antonio Tavaris a foreign national but not a citizen of the United States at birth, am writing to you regarding recent reports that have been circulating in the media regarding my supposed ownership of the Albany Empire team,” the letter begins, per the Times-Union, which received an emailed copy. “I want to make it very clear that I am not the owner of this team, and any claims to the contrary are completely false.

“As you may know,” the letter continues, “I am involved with the ANTONIO EL-ALLAH EXPRESS TRUST ENTERPRISE (a ‘trust’), which is a separate entity from myself. While the Trust have 100 percent ownership stake in the ALBANY EMPIRE, I myself do not have any ownership or control over the team.”

Per the report, one version of the letter is signed electronically by someone named John Williams, “Foreign Trustee, For Antonio El-Allah Express trust on behalf of: Antonio Tavaris Brown.” Additionally, his name is flanked by the words “No prejudice … no recourse,” which is a signal that Brown does not want any ownership claims to be used against him if he has any legal situations pending or forthcoming.

Foreign Finesse Or American Hustle?

Former Empire co-owner Mike Kwarta sold his 47.5 percent stake to Brown for $1 on April 19, which allowed the Antonio El-Allah Express Trust Enterprise to control 95 percent. The remaining 5 percent is owned locally by a couple, Charlotte and Steve von Schiller.

As more layers are found, Antonio El-Allah Express Trust is connected to another entity, Big Boomin Investment Co. LLC, which Brown established in Dubai, UAE, to facilitate his investments. The United Arab Emirates is a haven for many Americans looking for shelters for their businesses. The UAE’s economy, in general, is considered to be the most liberal and diversified in the region. Dubai applies a no-taxation policy for almost all types of business activities.

Additionally, if you have a company in Dubai and other UAE Emirates in general, you will be eligible to get a UAE residency. At the Empire’s news conference last Wednesday, Brown was asked who Antonio El-Allah was, and his answer was telling: “That’s a good question.”

Whether protecting himself from lawsuits or changing his name to become a foreign national or a host of other what ifs, Antonio Brown proves that his second and third acts of rapping and Arena team ownership are more intriguing than his professional football career.

Back to top