Adviser admits to fraud in NBA players union case

The 72-year-old founder of a firm that handled the NBA players

union’s investments and finances has admitted to fraud.

Prosecutors say Joseph Lombardo, the founder of Ohio-based Prim

Capital Corporation, pleaded guilty in a Manhattan federal court

Thursday to mail fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Authorities say Lombardo used a stamp to forge the signature of

a deceased general counsel for the National Basketball Players

Association and another employee, a move that awarded Prim a $3

million fee over five years.

Lombardo faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced

March 20. His lawyer says his client ”is a good man who made some

very poor decisions.”

Prim principal Carolyn Kaufman is charged with obstructing

justice and has pleaded not guilty. Her trial begins Dec. 2.