The former financial advisor to NBA star Tim Duncan has been charged with wire fraud after allegedly misappropriating more than $500,000 of client assets.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced on Monday that it has filed civil charges against investment advisor Charles Augustus Banks IV of Atlanta for allegedly defrauding an undisclosed client—presumably Duncan, who identified himself as a victim of Duncan's earlier this year. The suit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division.
A separate federal criminal indictment, identifying the client as “T.D.,” charges Banks with two counts of wire fraud.
Banks was arrested on Friday in San Antonio, Texas, where he was arraigned in federal court before posting bond, according to an Associated Press report.
In January 2015, Duncan filed a lawsuit seeking at least $1 million in damages against Banks, claiming that he had been cheated in his investments.
“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,” Duncan said in a statement released at the time the lawsuit was filed. “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.”
Last summer, Duncan told reporters that he had lost $25 million in investments. The former NBA All Star alleged that Banks had “hustled” him to invest in wineries and investment funds.
Banks allegedly persuaded Duncan to invest $7.5 million in a sports team apparel and merchandise company, Gameday Entertainment, falsely telling him that another investor was investing the same amount.
The SEC alleges that Banks told Duncan that $5 million of the $15 million total would be used for the company’s ongoing operations, with the remainder paying off Gameday’s existing bank debt, and that the client would have a first lien position on Gameday’s assets.
Banks allegedly knew that there was no other investor, that the full $15 million would not be raised, and that the bank debt would not be paid off, leaving Duncan without the first lien position he was promised.
Instead, Banks allegedly misappropriated nearly $543,000 from Duncan, taking an origination fee of $225,000 out of his client’s investment, and siphoning $15,000 from each $75,000 monthly interest payment from Gameday to Duncan for approximately two years.