Gordon's financial advisors ordered to repay loan

BY foxsports • January 29, 2010

A federal judge ordered Detroit Pistons guard Ben Gordon's former financial advisors to pay him more than $1.3 million in a dispute over a loan but found there was no breach of their fiduciary duty.

Judge Charles Kocoras handed down the decision Wednesday in a suit Gordon, a former Chicago Bull, filed against California-based Larry Harmon & Associates.

Kocoras ordered Harmon to repay with interest and penalties a $1 million loan from Gordon in 2007 but threw out his claim that the loan and a change in how he paid them - from flat fee to 1 1/2 percent of earnings - represented a breach of the firm's fiduciary duty to the NBA player.

Kocoras also dismissed for lack of jurisdiction a claim by Harmon that Gordon had breached his contract by firing the consulting company.

Gordon claimed in the suit filed in 2007 that he provided $1 million to Harmon as his share in a real estate investment.

In his 10-page opinion, though, Kocoras said there had been ``some discussions about real estate'' but nothing to suggest the transfer of the money was part of a real estate transaction involving Gordon.

``Its terms pertain soley to a borrower-lender relationship,'' he said.

Kocoras said the switch from a flat fee method of payment to 1 1/2 percent of earnings did not represent a breach of fiduciary duty. He said the fact that Gordon kept up payments indicated his approval of the change and that the amount he paid under the revised system was less than what he would have paid if the flat-rate fee structure had remained in place.

``We're very happy with this decision, we think we won this,'' said Harmon's attorney, James Borcia.

Gordon's attorney, George Spellmire, said he was ``very pleased with the judge's decision.'' He said he believed it marked the end of the dispute.

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