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Pistons' Villanueva testifies against former player

The SportsXchange

Detroit Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva testified Tuesday before a jury in Trenton, N.J., that former Connecticut player Tate George misused money he had invested with George's company.

Villanueva, who also played at UConn, said he invested $250,000 with George and was promised a return of $37,500 plus 2 percent of gross profits for years. But he never received any money, included the $250,000, from his investment in a real-estate project in Bridgeport, Conn.

Villanueva told The Trentonian after leaving the courthouse that he was particularly hurt that a former fellow UConn player had conned him.

"And it's $250,000," Villanueva said. "That could have gone to my son's education."

New Jersey prosecutors allege that George was running what amounted to a Ponzi scheme. He is on trial in U.S. District Court for wire fraud that netted him $2 million.

George is most remembered for his buzzer-beater that gave UConn a victory over Clemson in a Sweet 16 game in the 1990 NCAA Tournament.

Villanueva signed a five-year, $37.7 million contract with the Pistons in July 2009.
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