Whenever people in Michigan and other states are appointed in positions in which they will be trusted to work with significant amounts of money, some may not be able to resist the temptation of siphoning some of it off for personal use. White collar crimes charges frequently result from such situations. A recent case involved an executive of a professional basketball team in another state.
The 44-year-old former NBA executive pleaded guilty in federal court to aggravated identity theft and wire fraud charges involving over $13 million. His job involved negotiating sponsorships and using advertising and other means to generate revenue for the basketball team. The defendant opened a shell account into which sponsors deposited money of which only some was transferred to the team’s account.
The identity theft charges arose from the Sacramento Kings revenue officer renegotiating a prior deal with a sponsor who obtained the team’s naming rights without the knowledge of the team principals. During these negotiations, the man forged the signatures of several of his superiors. The illegally obtained funds were used to enrich himself by purchasing luxury items, including a private jet and multi-million-dollar beachfront properties.
Most people in Michigan who face white collar crimes charges retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can examine the charges and the evidence before suggesting the best way to proceed. If a plea deal is offered, the attorney can help decide the best way forward. This case is an example of such negotiations because a possible 22-year sentence might now be limited to eight years or less.