NBA star Tim Duncan sues his financial adviser

Joining long list of pro athletes taken to cleaners by their adviser, all-star basketball player claims was pushed into investments that led to 'substantial loss'

Jan 31, 2015 @ 12:01 am

By Bloomberg News

San Antonio Spurs 15-time All Star Tim Duncan said he has joined the long list of professional athletes taken to the cleaners by their investment adviser.

On Friday he sued his in Texas state court, claiming he was pushed into investments despite conflicts of interest that ultimately caused him “substantial loss.”

The National Basketball Association player claimed Charlie Banks, an Atlanta-based financial adviser, hid his own interest in investment opportunities that he recommended to Mr. Duncan, according to a copy of the complaint filed in San Antonio.

(More: Basketball star who went bankrupt wishes he'd gotten an MBA)

“Over the course of 17 years, I invested in a series of opportunities presented by Charles Banks, on his assurance that we were working together for my family's long-term financial security,” Mr. Duncan said in a statement. “Banks exploited my good intentions and our relationship for his personal gain and my substantial loss. I'm saddened that my name will join the list of athletes to fall victim to this sort of misconduct.”

Mr. Banks couldn't be immediately reached for comment on the lawsuit. Mr. Duncan said he met Mr. Banks during his rookie year in 1998. At Mr. Banks' urging, the athlete invested several million dollars in hotel, beauty products, sports merchandising and wineries that the adviser owned or in which he had financial stakes, according to the filing.

$7.5 MILLION

Mr. Duncan accused Mr. Banks of defrauding him through a $7.5 million loan to Gameday, a company Mr. Banks controlled, which subsequently obtained a $6 million bank loan with what Mr. Duncan alleged was his forged signature, the complaint stated.

“Recognizing that an athlete's earning years are relatively limited, Duncan wanted to invest his earnings prudently and wisely in order to ensure a secure future for his family,” his lawyers wrote in the complaint.

(More: How advisers can work with athletes)

“Banks also encouraged, promoted, hustled and advised Duncan to invest in several wineries and investment funds that he controls,” according to the complaint. “Banks has used these wineries and funds to secure substantial income for himself, but they have yet to return much, if anything, to Duncan.”

Mr. Duncan has played 18 seasons in San Antonio after being selected No. 1 overall in the 1997 draft. He's won five NBA titles, been named Finals Most Valuable Player three times and regular season MVP twice.

Mr. Duncan ranks in the top five active players in points (25,523), rebounds (14,363), games played (1,296), field goals (9,891), free throws (5,713), and blocks (2,874). He's made over $224 million in his NBA career, according to basketball-reference.com.

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