Former NBA point guard Tate George has been convicted of wire fraud after a federal jury found that he ran a $2 million Ponzi scheme that ensnared fellow athletes.
George, 45, played for the Nets and Bucks during an unremarkable four-year NBA career and was better known as a collegiate player at Connecticut. He was taken into federal custody in New Jersey after the conviction on Monday and faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 on each of four wire fraud counts. Sentencing was scheduled for January, 2014.
Prosecutors alleged that George used his real estate company as a piggybank and swindled investors out of $2 million. Among George's victims was former NBA point guard Brevin Knight, who invested $300,000 in 2007 and became suspicious when dividends went unpaid. Knight was the first witness to testify against George at trial.
Instead of investing funds in real estate developments, George used the money to float homes in West Orange, N.J., and Boca Raton, Fla., and fund a reality TV show about his life, prosecutors said. George also used the money to pay his personal income taxes and siphoned money from new investors to pay back old ones, prosecutors said.
George was represented by the federal public defenders office.