Tate George, a former member of the New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, has been found guilty on four counts of federal wire fraud after he fan a $2 million scam centered on public housing projects. The unanimous verdict was announced before United States Judge Mary L. Cooper.
Prosecutors believe that George took money from people who believed that they were investing in the real estate development company, George Group. He reportedly spent $250,000 on himself and his family, $19,000 on overdue federal taxes, $3,000 on his daughter’s Sweet-16 birthday party, and over $3,000 to promote the Tate George reality show. Portions of the stolen funds were also used on two personal mortgages, extensive renovations on a New Jersey home, and traffic tickets.
The prosecution believes that they were at least 10 victims in this wire fraud scheme that netted total losses of over $7 million. Among the investors were former University of Connecticut basketball player Charlie Villanueva and former NBA point guard Brevin Knight.
George faces six to 20 years in federal prison and fines up to $200,000 on each of the counts of wire fraud. He was immediately taken to prison after Judge Cooper ruled that he was a potential flight risk. His sentencing hearing has been scheduled for January 16, 2014.
Tate George testified in court that he plans to pay back each of his investors.