Former NBA player Tate George surrendered on Friday to federal authorities who accuse him of orchestrating a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
George, who made an iconic shot for UConn against Clemson during the Sweet 16 game of the NCAA tournament in 1990 before moving on to play with the New Jersey Nets, Philadelphia 76ers and Milwaukee Bucks, gave himself up to FBI agents and postal inspectors in Newark.
A criminal complaint charges him with one count of wire fraud, alleging that as the CEO of The George Group, he took money from prospective investors, and instead of using it for real estate developments as promised, he paid off other investors in a classic Ponzi scheme.
Among the allegations are that George represented to prospective investors that their money would be used to fund The George Group’s purchase and development of real estate development projects, including projects in Florida, Illinois, Connecticut and New Jersey.
George, 43, of Newark, is also accused of pocketing some of the money himself, paying for home improvement projects, clothing, meals and other personal expenses.
The complaint said investors gave his firm more than $2 million between 2005 and early 2011.
"In reality, The George Group had virtually no income-generating operations," prosecutors said in a statement.
George faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
He was set to appear before a judge Friday. His lawyer did not immediately comment.