[Former college basketball star] Tate George was portrayed as a con man Tuesday in federal court, where prosecutors alleged he used his accountant’s name after firing the guy and made key little mistakes in documents as part of a fraud.
George didn’t send a key letter to the home of Detroit Piston Charlie Villanueva in Rochester, Michigan, testimony revealed. The papers saying the pro baller’s $250,000 could be used any way George wanted instead were mistakenly sent to Rochester, Minn.
Soft-spoken Villanueva took the stand and told the jury he invested the quarter-million with his fellow UConn alum for a George project called Seaview Plaza in troubled Bridgeport, Conn.
It was 2010, Villanueva had just earned a $30 million contract with the Pistons and was looking for investment opportunities. He testified under questioning by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater that he liked the idea of investing in Bridgeport as a way of giving back to the community.
Villanueva was promised the return of his $250,000, a profit of $37,500 and two percent on the gross for years to come; maybe more than $2 million. He never saw a dime.
Reported by Paul Mickle of the Trentonian