Ex-Sacramento Kings executive admits to defrauding team

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A former Sacramento Kings top executive agreed Wednesday to plead guilty to siphoning $13.4 million from the team to buy Southern California beachfront properties, court records showed.

Federal prosecutors in Sacramento simultaneously filed felony fraud charges and a plea agreement signed by former chief revenue officer Jeffrey David admitting to forging the team president’s signature to divert sponsorship payments to a bank account he controlled. Court records showed David agreed to relinquish the properties, which have been sold for $14.8 million and the team is expected to recoup the stolen funds.

David, 44, is expected to plead guilty to wire fraud and identity theft in January and faces at least two years in prison, court records show.

David’s lawyer Mark Reichel didn’t return a phone call.

The Sacramento Bee first reported the plea deal Wednesday.

Prosecutors say the scheme was uncovered soon after David left the Kings in June after his position was eliminated and he accepted a similar post with the Miami Heat. The Heat in September said the team and David “parted ways” after the Bee reported he was under investigation in August.

A Kings employee reviewing computer files David left behind found a folder labeled “TurboTax” that contained incriminating evidence, court records showed.

According to prosecutors, David convinced sponsors with 20-year contracts to make larger initial payments in exchange for lower annual payments later. David had the authority to negotiate those deals but needed the approval of the team’s president and forged his signature, court records showed.

Kings chief operating officer Matina Kolokotronis thanked the FBI and federal prosecutors for their “swift action to hold Jeff David accountable and to recover all of the Kings organization’s assets.”