Retired NBA star Duncan's ex-financial adviser charged with fraud
By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - Retired NBA superstar Tim Duncan's former financial adviser has been indicted on federal fraud charges accusing him of bilking the long-time San Antonio Spurs player out of millions of dollars, court papers unsealed on Friday showed.
Charles Banks, 49, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of federal wire fraud on suspicion of defrauding Duncan, U.S. prosecutors in Texas said. Banks headed a Colorado-based business called Gameday Entertainment.
The indictment identified Duncan, 40, only by his initials, but his lawyer confirmed that it referred to the five-time NBA champion and that the amount misappropriated by Banks through a series of financial schemes totaled $7.5 million to $13 million.
"There are two counts of wire fraud where Mr. Banks sent documents to Tim, and Tim returned them with his signature," Tullos Wells, long-time outside counsel for the Spurs and an attorney for Duncan, said in an interview. "Mr. Banks had misrepresented what those documents were."
Wells said Banks tricked Duncan into committing money to guarantee loans from financial institutions for several of his businesses, many of which Wells said Banks knew were failing. Those businesses included a beauty supply company, a winery and hotels, according to court documents.
Banks made an initial appearance in court in San Antonio on Friday and was released on bond. If convicted, Banks faces up to 20 years in prison on each count.
"He is innocent of these charges and confident that when all the facts and circumstances are brought to light, he will be exonerated of any wrongdoing," Banks' lawyer, Johnny Sutton, said in a statement.
The federal indictment said Banks encouraged Duncan to lend $7.5 million to Gameday in 2012. Banks was also accused of asking Duncan to guarantee $6 million in debt for Gameday. Continued...