STORRS, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) – After denying any wrongdoing throughout Wednesday’s testimony, embattled former University of Connecticut basketball star Tate George admitted that he tried to get fellow Huskies to invest in a real estate development project.
Only one player – Charlie Villanueva – invested money in George’s venture. He reportedly gave $250,000 toward the project, and has yet to recover any of it. According to the Hartford Courant, the project fell apart soon after.
George did not deny that Villanueva, a Detroit Pistons forward, was still owed money, but said it was due to advise he received dictating that he should avoid all financial transactions or contact with those involved in the case following his arrest two years ago.
“In terms of Charlie, it really is just a phone call away,” George added during his testimony. “I said to Charlie: your money is here when you’re ready.”
George spent four seasons in the NBA, with the New Jersey Nets and Milwaukee Bucks. But he’s best known for catching a full-court pass and sinking a jumper at the buzzer to give UConn a victory in a 1990 NCAA regional semifinal against Clemson.
However, the former basketballer is now making headlines because of accusations he carrying out a Ponzi scheme from 2005 to early 2011, that made him $2 million.
He has denied doing anything wrong, but prosecutors say George used money investors sank into his purported real estate firm to pay previous investors or for home improvements and personal expenses.
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