New Jersey

Former NBA Player Tate George Faces Sentence for Real Estate Ponzi Scheme

Another day passed Tuesday without a sentence in the fraud case of a former NBA player convicted of running a real estate Ponzi scheme.

Former University of Connecticut and New Jersey Nets guard Tate George appeared in federal court in Trenton on Tuesday for the continuation of a hearing that spanned two days earlier this month. The parties are scheduled to return to court Wednesday morning.

George has been jailed since his 2013 conviction on four counts of wire fraud. Each count carries a maximum 20-year sentence, but George is expected to face considerably less time.

Prosecutors contend he convinced people, including NBA players, to invest in his company but used their money to pay off earlier investors.

George is representing himself and is disputing the amount of money prosecutors say people lost. The amount lost, which will be determined by a judge, could determine the length of George's sentence.

George has contended his real estate ventures were legitimate and that he didn't mislead investors. Among those who invested in George's company were current NBA player Charlie Villanueva, former player Brevin Knight and "The Apprentice" winner Randal Pinkett. They lost several hundred thousand dollars altogether, according to prosecutors.

In addition to the Nets, George played for the Milwaukee Bucks. The Newark native is best remembered for a buzzer-beating shot for UConn in a 1990 NCAA tournament game against Clemson.

The U.S. attorney's office said George persuaded victims to invest in real estate opportunities by lying about his company's assets and projects, then took their money and used it for personal expenses and to pay off earlier investors.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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