Ex-NBA Player and CEO Charged in Alleged $2M Real Estate Ponzi Scheme
C. Tate George, former player for the NBA’s New Jersey Nets and
CEO of purported real estate development firm The George Group, was indicted
late last week on four counts of wire fraud in connection to an alleged
Ponzi scheme. According to the indictment, George is accused of intentionally making
false representations about his firm and about his personal finances in
order to defraud potential investors.
The indictment alleged that George told potential investors, including
several former professional athletes, that his company managed more than
$500 million in assets, and that their investments would be used to fund
the company’s purchase and development of real estate development projects.
In some cases, the indictment alleged, he told certain investors their
money would be used only as “show money,” and he personally
guaranteed some prospective investors that their investments would be
returned, with interest. All together, he obtained more than $2 million
in investments in The George Group between 2005 and 2011.
Instead of investing the funds as promised, however, George allegedly
deposited the investments in both The George Group’s and his personal
bank accounts. Allegedly, he then used investments from new investors
to make payments to older investors. The indictment also accuses him of
using some of the money for his personal purposes. If convicted, George
could face up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count
of wire fraud.