Former NBA Player Tate George Convicted of 4 Counts of Wire Fraud

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor ISeptember 30, 2013

Photo courtesy of Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger (via NJ.com)
Photo courtesy of Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger (via NJ.com)

Former University of Connecticut and NBA player Tate George has been found guilty of four counts of wire fraud in Trenton, N.J., after deceiving investors as part of a $2 million ponzi scheme. 

Christopher Keating of The Hartford Courant has the news:

Jurors in U.S. District Court Monday found former University of Connecticut basketball star Tate George guilty of four felony counts of federal wire fraud.

The verdict came after a half-day of jury deliberations and a three-week trial.

According to a report from CBS' Ken Berger, George faces six to 20 years in federal prison, up to $250,000 fines on each of the four wire fraud counts and—because he was seen as a potential flight risk—he was immediately taken to prison after the judge's ruling.   

Sentencing is scheduled for January 16, 2014.

Prosecutors argued that George took money from people who believed they were investing in the George Group, a real estate development company, and subsequently spent that money on personal needs. He reportedly doled out $250,000 for himself and his family, $19,000 on overdue federal taxes, $3,000 for his daughter's Sweet-16 party and nearly $3,000 to promote a Tate George reality show

Among the investors were former UConn big man Charlie Villanueva and former NBA point guard Brevin Knight. 

While the official ruling charged George with just four counts on four victims, the prosecution reportedly believed there were at least 10 victims, while total money loss reached an astounding $7 million. 

George testified that he had plans to pay back his investors. 

The 45-year-old spent four seasons with the UConn Huskies, averaging 9.7 points, 5.3 assists and 1.6 steals per contest. He is perhaps most known for his unbelievable Sweet 16 buzzer-beater to knock off Clemson in 1990 during the NCAA tournament. 

In the NBA, the former first-round pick played sparingly for the New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. He also played in the CBA until 1997. 

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