News: Retired Baller Kevin Garnett Has $77M Gone Missing And He’s Suing His Accountant
Retired NBA star Kevin Garnett has filed a lawsuit saying his former accountant helped a wealth manager steal $77 million from him. Garnett played for Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics.
The federal malpractice lawsuit alleges that Kentucky-based accountant Michael Wertheim and Welenken CPAs enabled Charles Banks IV of Atlanta to defraud Garnett through businesses in which Garnett and Banks shared an interest, USA Today reported.
Wertheim knew that Banks was helping himself to millions of dollars of Garnett’s money and did nothing about it, according to the lawsuit.
The suit claims that Garnett’s earnings and assets were “looted” for years, including many years when Welenken and Wertheim provided accounting services to Garnett and his business interests.
Wertheim, through his defense attorney Greg Simpson, told the Star Tribune that he denied the allegations and vowed to fight the suit.
Banks, who is not listed in the lawsuit, was sentenced in 2017 to four years in federal prison for defrauding another former NBA star, retired San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan, of millions of dollars.
A one-time winery executive, Banks, was sentenced in June 2017 to four years in federal prison and ordered to pay $7.5 million in restitution after admitting to defrauding millions from another recently retired NBA star — San Antonio’s Tim Duncan. In one of Duncan’s deals with Banks, the former San Antonio Spur said he was told Garnett would be a partner.
“Two months after Banks was sentenced, the siphoning of Garnett’s money ended once his legal counsel gained access to the accounting firm’s records, according to the suit,” the Star Tribune reported.
Garnett’s attorney, Mark Gaughan, did not say why Banks was not named as a defendant in the federal suit. “However, Banks is being sued in Hennepin County by Hammer Holdings, a company that counted Banks and Garnett as partners and that Banks allegedly used to steal from Garnett,” the Star Tribune reported.
Wertheim and Banks were supposed to organize Garnett’s finances. There were reports the player was having financial issues three years before he retired in 2016. Garnett was having money troubles despite being the NBA’s all-time leading salary earner at $326 million, Business Insider reported.
“The Timberwolves chose Garnett out of high school in the first round of the 1995 draft. He was traded to Boston ahead of the 2007-08 campaign, and he was on the Celtics’ NBA championship team that same season.
“He played for the Brooklyn Nets starting in 2013 until rejoining the Timberwolves late in February 2015. He retired as a Timberwolf in 2016,” the Star Tribune reported.
Written by Ann Brown