Former NBA player indicted for Ponzi scheme
NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) -- A Newark grand jury has indicted a former NBA star for alleged fraud in a $2 million Ponzi investment scam.
C. Tate George, a 43-year-old former player for the New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, was indicted March 23 for wire fraud, according to the Newark office of the Department of Justice. He will be arraigned in Newark federal court on a date to be determined.
According to the announcement, George portrayed himself as the CEO of The George Group, a real estate development firm. He claimed to have more than $500 million in assets under management. He sold investors by telling them their money would be used to fund his company's purchase and development of real estate in Connecticut and New Jersey.
Among the investors were several former professional athletes.
George, who lives in Newark, told some that their funds would be held in a trust account with an attorney. He guaranteed a profit on the money.
People invested more than $2 million during a six year period. Funds were deposited in both the firm's and his personal bank account. But rather than using investments to fund real estate development projects, he used the new money to pay old investors in a Ponzi scheme. According to the DOJ there were virtually no income-generating operations.
George could serve a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.
George was selected by the New Jersey Nets with the 22nd overall pick in the 1990 NBA Draft from the University of Connecticut. He played a total of four years in the NBA for the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, averaging 4.2 points per game in his career.
George is best remembered for his buzzer-beater to defeat Clemson in the 1990 NCAA Tournament.