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A federal grand jury in Texas returned a two-count indictment for wire fraud against Charles Banks, a financial adviser who is alleged to have mishandled more than $20 million in investments of his ex-client, retired San Antonio Spurs All-Star Tim Duncan.
The indictment was unsealed Friday in a San Antonio courtroom, where Banks surrendered himself and was led into the courtroom in handcuffs. Banks surrendered his passport and a $1 million bond was issued for his release pending trial. He is facing a potential maximum sentence of 25 years in federal detainment.
“I originally filed my lawsuits against Charles Banks to stop him from doing to others what he had done to me and my family,” Duncan said in a release through his attorneys. “The U.S. Department of Justice has just taken a big step in exposing and stopping his illegal activities. I thank the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI for working tirelessly to bring Banks to justice.”
In a lawsuit filed in 2015, Duncan, a five-time NBA champion, alleged that Banks steered him toward multiple investments in hotels, wineries and beauty products despite not revealing his own financial conflicts of interests in the businesses.
Court records and documents show that Banks had ownership stakes or financial interests in the investments.
Duncan accused Banks of defrauding him on a $7.5 million loan to Gameday, a company that Banks maintained control over. Gameday also received a bank loan with what Duncan says he believed was his signature on a document that would get him $1.5 million in cash back and lower his guarantee exposure. Banks is alleged to have used that signature to increase Duncan’s guarantee exposure to $13.5 million at Comerica Bank instead of $6 million.
Duncan earned over $240 million in salary in his 19-year NBA career.
Banks has also been tied to Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star Kevin Garnett through his financial advice.
“We are gratified that the United States Attorney and the FBI discovered Banks’ criminal conduct on the Gameday issue and concluded that Banks, beyond a reasonable doubt, unlawfully extracted money to fund his lavish lifestyle at the expense of Tim Duncan and his family. We thank them for working to discover and expose Banks’ misconduct,” Duncan’s attorneys, Tullos Wells and Michael Bernard, said in a statement.
“Banks insisted when our civil cases were filed that this was just Tim being ‘impatient to get out of a bad deal.’ His comments were simply another effort to keep his criminal activity hidden. We believe that the trial of this case will confirm his unlawful activity. We look forward to continuing to cooperate with the U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI as they bring him to justice.”