Tate George Photo Courtesy of Courantblogs.com

Tate George Photo Courtesy of Courantblogs.com

Tate George, a former player for the National Basketball Association‘s New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks, was indicted on charges of running a $2 million Ponzi scheme that targeted ex-professional athletes.

George, 43, raised more than $2 million for his company, the George Group, after telling investors his real-estate development portfolio was worth $500 million, according to a four-count wire-fraud indictment in federal court in Newark, New Jersey.

George, a Newark resident, told prospective investors that their money would fund the George Group’s development of real estate projects in New Jersey and Connecticut, prosecutors charged.

“Instead of using investments to fund real estate development projects as promised, George used the money from new investors to pay existing investors in Ponzi scheme fashion,” U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman said in a statement.

“He also used some of the money for home improvement projects, meals at restaurants, clothing and gas,” Fishman said. “The George Group had virtually no income-generating operations.”

George appeared in a Newark federal court and spoke briefly when he was asked if he knew understood the charges against him. His bond was set at $250,000.

George is best remembered by college basketball fans for his last second shot in the 1990 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regional semifinal game that defeated Clemson University. George is a member of the UConn All Century Team as voted by fans and experts in 2001.

George was drafted in the first round of the 1990 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets and he played four season with the Nets and Milwaukee Bucks.

George faces as many as 20 years in prison on each count. His attorney, Thomas Ashley, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the indictment.
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