On Wednesday, Tim Duncan's ex-financial advisor was sentenced to four years in prison for defrauding the former Spurs star, and was ordered to pay back some $7.5 million he stole.
Duncan wrote in his victim statement that in his 19 years of performing as a professional athlete, he wanted to "make a living that would last [him] for the rest of [his] life." Throughout his 19-year career, Duncan had given entire responsibility of his fortune to financial advisor, Charles Banks. They had "built a trusting relationship," according to the basketball-player's statement. And it wasn't until his 2013 divorce that Duncan's lawyers discovered millions of dollars had gone missing.
Banks, it turns out, had been siphoning Duncan's money into various schemes destined to fail. In one 2013 instance, Banks convinced the basketball player to loan him $6 million for Banks's sports-merchandising company, Gameday Entertainment. The deal never saw returns, but Banks continued to urge Duncan to invest in the LLC and lied to him, texting him things like, "all great news....No downside."
In April, Banks pleaded guilty
to two counts of wire fraud, and admitted to misleading Duncan. Specifically, Banks did not disclose the commissions, payments, and loans from which he was personally benefitting, according to court documents.
Duncan's current financial adviser Wendy Kowalik estimated that of the $24 million he invested with Banks, about $7 million was returned, Express-News
reported. Another lawsuit against Banks filed by Duncan is still pending.
Before United States District Judge Fred Biery delivered the sentence on Wednesday, Banks reportedly apologized in court to Duncan, saying, "Tim, I'm sorry."