Waknine went on trial on June 5, and he pleaded guilty a week later to a single racketeering charge, admitting that he threatened violence to extort money from several individuals. Waknine, who was unavailable for comment Thursday, is expected to receive a nine-year prison term at his sentencing Sept. 11. His attorney, Kenner -- the former lawyer for Death Row Records and its founder, Marion "Suge" Knight -- did not return phone messages.
It's no secret, however, that Waknine provided Clarett with a life of luxury from August 2004 to August 2005.
"When I worked with Maurice, he had Hai and a very high-profile lawyer," said Charles Poliquin, who trained Clarett in November and December 2004 in Phoenix. "There are not a lot of guys that want to play pro football who have a team of lawyers and money men backing them up, and, for sure, they had his best interests at heart. But he was living too nice a life. Too nice. He was living in Malibu. Right on the beach. I've been to the house. [Waknine] owned like 10 cars and said, 'Pick whatever car you want.'"
But money eventually became an issue, especially for all of Clarett's three personal trainers. None of them -- Poliquin, Chad Ikei and Todd Durkin -- was ever paid for his services, and when one contacted a member of Clarett's inner circle to be reimbursed, he was told, "You'll get paid when I get paid."
Mango said he has neither the time nor the resources to investigate Waknine, but he found the threatening postcard puzzling.
"It came on a small index card like you use in school or whatever, and whatever language that was on it was actually cut and pasted in the old-fashioned sense, like typed and then cut out and pasted onto it," he said. "And then, obviously, the identity of the sender has been pretty well kept … they took steps to keep that …
"I think anything you get where the sender has taken very obvious and extreme and multiple steps to keep their identity sealed, that concerns me," he said. "Maurice has gotten other letters and, quite frankly, so have we. People write notes and might use the N-words, but it's in their handwriting some. Some sign it, even an address. In this case, none of that. There's no way to trace this one."