Former NBA player Tate George convincted in Ponzi scheme

USA TODAY Sports

Tate George was convicted on four charges of wire fraud for masterminding a Ponzi scheme that targeted former and current athletes.

Tate George, a former University of Connecticut and NBA player, was convicted on four charges of wire fraud Monday, reports Dave Voreacaos of Bloomberg. George targeted athletes and presented his company, The George Group, as having a real estate development portfolio worth over $500 million. He could face up to 20 years in prison along with $250,000 in fines for each count.

Current Detroit Pistons forward and Connecticut alum Charlie Villanueva testified against George during the trial. Villanueva invested $250,000 in a project George claimed would be developed in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was promised a full return of his investment as well as $37,500 profit and two percent earnings annually, reports The Detroit News.

Villanueva stated he was hurt on a personal level because he was exploited by a fellow Connecticut alum.

Former NBA point guard Brevin Knight also testified against George during the trial. Knight invested $300,000 to The George Group in 2007 and was never paid dividends, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports. A full list of victims has not been released, though George reportedly raised more than $2 million for his company.

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