NBA star Tim Duncan's former financial adviser charged with fraud

Reuters News
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Posted: Sep 09, 2016 1:46 PM

By Jim Forsyth

SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A former financial adviser for ex-NBA star Tim Duncan, whom the San Antonio Spurs legend has accused of bilking him out of millions of dollars, has been indicted on federal fraud charges, court papers unsealed on Friday showed.

Charles Banks, 49 and head of Colorado-based Gameday Entertainment, was arrested of federal wire fraud charges on suspicion of defrauding an unnamed San Antonio investor out of millions of dollars, U.S. prosecutors in Texas said.

The investor was former San Antonio Spurs star Duncan and the amount misappropriated through a series of financial schemes totaled $7.5 million to $13 million, an attorney for Duncan said in an interview.

"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 on Friday. 

"Mr. Banks had misrepresented what those documents were."

Banks made an initial appearance in court in San Antonio and was released on bond. He did not speak to the media, but his lawyers have contended in court filings he did nothing wrong.

Banks, who lives in Atlanta, is also being sued by Duncan.

"Banks exploited my good intention for his personal gain and my substantial loss," Duncan, who retired from the Spurs in June, said in a statement earlier this year.

The federal indictment claims Banks encouraged the victim with the initials "T.D." to loan $7.5 million to Gameday in 2012. Banks is also accused of asking the same person to guarantee $6 million in debt for Gameday.

Wells said Banks tricked Duncan into committing money to guarantee loans from financial institutions for several of his businesses, many of which Wells says Banks knew were failing.

"He had him sign documents that misrepresented what he was getting, in order to acquire some additional bank loans that Mr. Banks needed for his other business interests," Wells said.

According to the civil lawsuit, the businesses included a beauty supply company, a winery and a chain of hotels.

Duncan did not realize the fraud until he had to get his finances arranged in 2013 due to a divorce, court papers showed.

Banks has claimed in civil court filings that Duncan received "voluminous documentation" on all of the transactions he was making on his behalf.

If convicted, Banks faces up to 20 years in federal prison on each count.

(Reporting by Jim Forsyth; Additional reporting by Jon Herskovitz in Austin, Texas; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)