Former NBA Player Arrested in Suspected Financial Scam

By Danny Fenster
In the NCAA tournament of 1990, down by one point and nearing the final buzzer, Tate George caught a full-court pass, spun around once and released a 15-foot shot with one second left in the game. The ball dropped through the hoop and UConn beat Clemson by one point.

George went on to play four years in the NBA with the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. But the memory of the old basketball glory may be marred by the athlete’s financial dealings under the auspices of the George Group. George surrendered to federal authorities this week, who allege he carried out a more than $2 million investment fraud scheme, according to an FBI press release.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman made the announcement. George is CEO of The George Group, which the feds allege pitched prospective investors-including several retired athletes-to invest with the firm. George told investors their money would be used to fund real estate development projects. “George represented to some prospective investors that their funds would be held in an attorney escrow account and personally guaranteed the return of their investments, with interest,” said the press release.

George placed investments of more than $2 million between 2005 and 2011 in personal and business accounts, using new investments to pay older investors in ponzi-scheme fashion and using some on home improvement projects, dining out, gas and other personal expenses, rather than real estate projects, according to the FBI.

George faces a maximum 20-year sentence and $250,000 in fines if convicted.

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