Former University of Connecticut basketball star Tate George has been indicted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey in a real estate fraud investigation. Authorities characterize his operation as a classic “Ponzi scheme.” The indictment charges four counts of wire fraud. A previous criminal complaint, in September, listed a single charge.
George, famed for the 1990 “Dream Shot” with one second left, which gave UConn the win over Clemson in the NCAA East Regional Sweet 16, was the first UConn player ever chosen in the first round of the NBA draft, by the New Jersey Nets. He currently lives in Newark, NJ, and is CEO of The George Group.
U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman says The George Group claimed to manage more than half a billion dollars in assets, and that he told prospective investors — including several former professional athletes — that their investments would be used to fund purchase and development projects in Connecticut and New Jersey. But Fishman says while investors invested more than $2 million between 2005 and 2011, there were virtually no income-generating operations, and instead charged that George used the new money coming in to pay previous investors, and for his own expenses.
If convicted, he could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a million dollar fine.