Pistons forward Charlie Villanueva appeared in federal court recently, testifying against fellow former UConn basketball star Tate George.
George, whose buzzer-beater against Clemson in the 1990 NCAA tournament made him a legend in Storrs, Conn., was found guilty of running a ponzi scheme and convicted on federal fraud charges.
Villanueva was the most high-profile witness in the case, and he testified that he was scammed out of $250,000 by his fellow UConn alum, the Trentonian reports.
Villanueva testified that, after signing a $30 million contract with Detroit, he had given George $250,000 as an investment in a Bridgeport, Conn., real estate development company. The NBA veteran said he 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,” according to the newspaper.
But Villanueva says he never received any of it.
Villanueva said he was “hurt” not only by the financial loss, but also because the alleged fraud was perpetrated by a fellow UConn product.
“And it’s $250,000!” he told The Trentonian. “That could have gone to my son’s education.”
George was drafted 22nd overall in 1990 and played four seasons in the NBA. His best year came in 1991-92, when he averaged 6.0 points and 1.5 rebounds in 70 games for New Jersey.