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U.S. Attorney’s office opens investigation of NBA players union

Apr 27, 2012, 3:43 PM EDT

NBPA Meet To Discuss Current CBA Offer Getty Images

The NBA players union just went from the frying pan — a call by president Derek Fisher for a review of all business practices that was rejected by the executive committee — to the fire.

The United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan has opened an investigation of the union, reports Bloomberg.

Union Executive Director Billy Hunter was notified of the investigation by subpoena for documents on April 25, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation. The people were granted anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the investigation.

“The NBPA will cooperate fully with the government’s investigation,” the union statement said.

The union has appointed a six-member special committee that consists of players’ representatives and executive committee members to oversee an internal inquiry that will include a financial audit.

Previous reports had shown a lot of family connections from Hunter to the union — family members working for the union, financial and law firms with Hunter family members getting union business, all to the tune of $4.5 million in the last decade. There is a spider web of connections from the union and relatives of Hunters.

That in and of itself is not illegal — Hunter said his relatives were qualified and said the union’s executive committee was well aware of the connections — but it raises a lot of ethical red flags.

Flags that apparently caught the eye of the United States Attorney’s office. This is spiraling downhill fast.

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