SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - NBA superstar Tim Duncan has filed a lawsuit seeking at least $1 million in damages against a longtime friend and financial adviser the basketball player says cheated him in his investments.
The lawsuit was filed on Thursday in a Texas court against Atlanta businessman Charles Banks, who Duncan said he met during his 1997-98 rookie season in the NBA with the San Antonio Spurs.
A source close to the case told Reuters that Duncan’s total investment with Banks was in excess of $20 million.
“Banks breached these duties by placing his own interests above those of Duncan, by failing to fully, fairly, and honestly disclose the nature of the various investments that he encouraged and advised Duncan to make and by otherwise engaging in self-dealing to his benefit and Duncan’s detriment,” the lawsuit said.
Banks was not immediately available for comment.
The lawsuit said Banks invested millions of dollars from Duncan in an array of industries, including hotels, beauty products, sports merchandise and wine.
Duncan says his biggest investment, of $7.5 million, was in a company called Gameday, which Banks headed.
Without Duncan’s authorization, the lawsuit says, Banks withheld for himself 20 percent of the money that was due to Duncan from Gameday.
At one point, Duncan says Banks forged his signature on loan documents, claiming Duncan had agreed to guarantee a bank loan to Gameday, something Duncan said he did not do.
The lawsuit says Duncan did not realize the fraud until he had to get his finances arranged early last year due to a divorce.
Duncan, who has spent his entire 17-year career with the San Antonio Spurs, is one of the preeminent players in professional basketball. He has played on five NBA championship teams and recently became one of only five players in NBA history to be named to 15 All Star teams.
Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Writing by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Eric Beech