Tim Duncan's former financial adviser has been indicted on two counts of wire fraud, as reported by The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. The recently retired San Antonio Spurs star sued Charles Banks in 2015, alleging that Banks had mishandled more than $20 million of his investments.
From The Vertical:
In a lawsuit filed in 2015, Duncan, a five-time NBA champion, charged that Banks steered him toward multiple investments in hotels, wineries and beauty products despite not revealing Banks' own financial conflicts of interests in the businesses.
Court records and documents show that Banks had ownership stakes or financial interests in the investments.
Duncan accused Banks of defrauding him on a $7.5 million loan to Gameday, a company that Banks maintained control over. Gameday also received a bank loan with what Duncan says he believed was his signature on a document that would get him $1.5 million in cash back and lower his guarantee exposure. Banks is alleged to have used that signature to increase Duncan's guarantee exposure to $13.5 million at Comerica Bank instead of $6 million.
According to the San Antonio Express-News' Guillermo Contreras, the FBI has investigated Banks for a year. Banks was released after posting a $50,000 bond on Friday, which is five percent of his $1 million bail after appearing at federal court.
From the San Antonio Express-News:
One of Duncan's lawyers, Michael Bernard, said the charges against Banks involve $10 million of about $20 million that Duncan lost in his dealings with Banks.
"Tim is very grateful for the work of the FBI and particularly Special Agent Jeff Jenson and, of course, the U.S. Attorney's Office," Bernard said. "He certainly feels vindicated in his claims against Mr. Banks. When the suit was filed, Tim said he was doing it because he wanted to make sure this didn't happen to anybody else."
In September 2015, U.S. District Judge Xavier Rodriguez split up Duncan's original lawsuit. The judge agreed with Banks that three funds Duncan invested in must be litigated in arbitration and that claims stemming from a $7.5 million investment loan Duncan provided should be moved to Colorado.
Between the two cases, Duncan alleges Banks falsified documents in Duncan's name and used him to fund a series of unscrupulous investments. He and Duncan had a longstanding financial relationship that began during Duncan's rookie season in 1998 and lasted much of Duncan's career.
Here is Banks leaving the courthouse:
Tim Duncan's former financial adviser Charles Banks leaves fed Court with wife after posting 5% of $1 million bail pic.twitter.com/3rJw0aHwae— Guillermo Contreras (@gmaninfedland) September 9, 2016
In January, Forbes profiled Banks, but focused almost exclusively on the success of his winery ventures. In that story, he is briefly quoted about the Duncan lawsuits, saying, "We are proceeding aggressively to have his claims litigated."
Banks has also advised future Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Duncan's newer lawsuit alleges that he made a $1.1 investment into a failing cosmetic company when he was falsely led to believe that it was profitable and Garnett, among others, was going to put money into it.