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Pistons’ Villanueva testified former UConn player Tate George scammed $250,000 from him

Sep 18, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

Charlie Villanueva AP

While there were a whole lot of Pistons players in Detroit on Tuesday working out to get ready for training camp, Charlie Villanueva was on a witness stand.

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey are going after former Connecticut Huskies basketball player Tate George saying he is a con man who misused money invested with his company.

That includes $250,000 that Villanueva invested, and he took the stand Tuesday to testify against the former player from his same school, reports the Trentonian (via The Big Lead).

Soft-spoken Villanueva took the stand and told the jury he invested the quarter-million with his fellow UConn alum for a George project called Seaview Plaza in troubled Bridgeport, Conn….

Villanueva 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. He never saw a dime….

After he testified that the loss of $250,000 “hurt” him, Villanueva told The Trentonian on the way out of the courthouse that it hurt him personally to be conned by a fellow UConn alum and athlete.

“And it’s $250,000! That could have gone to my son’s education.”

Prosecutors allege George was basically running a ponzi scheme and suggesting everything was legitimate because he had an accounting firm on board, a firm George had actually parted ways with years earlier.

Villanueva tried to do the right thing — invest his money with someone he trusted for a project in an area he wanted to give back to. Sometimes trying to do the right thing can lead to a hard lesson.

On the court Villanueva is in the last year of that contract he mentioned on the stand and will make $8.5 million this season, but he is not likely to be part of the Pistons’ regular rotations. He’ll be shopped around for a trade, mostly.

  1. kingwithringz - Sep 18, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I LOVE MY UCONN HUSKIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! sorry to hear about this though…

  2. jhuck92 - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:23 PM

    This is kind of unrelated, but does Villanueva shave his eyebrows?

    • nycalldayz - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      I believe he has a disease that causes hair-loss.

      • tonydelk - Sep 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        Alopecia is what it is called. Sam Cassell made it cool back in the 90’s… kind of.

      • henryd3rd - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:13 PM

        The disease is called “alopecia universalis”.

    • asimonetti88 - Sep 18, 2013 at 4:03 PM

      He has alopecia, which is a skin disease.

  3. tigers182 - Sep 18, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Charlie V scammed the Pistons out of $35 million.

    • henryd3rd - Sep 18, 2013 at 5:16 PM

      You can’t blame Charlie for that contract. No one put a gun to Joe Dumar’s head and made him sign him to that ludicrous contract. Were you in the same position I’m sure you’d take the money as well.

      • badintent - Sep 19, 2013 at 2:27 AM

        Joe had a bad case of Isiah Thomas disease that week. There is no cure but with Dennis Rodman therapy , it can be managed

      • adamsjohn714 - Sep 19, 2013 at 4:01 AM

        Hahahaha Isiah Thomas disease.

  4. zoomy123 - Sep 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    From the article: “Villanueva tried to do the right thing — invest his money with someone he trusted for a project in an area he wanted to give back to.”

    Who was this guy’s financial advisor? Just because someone is your “friend” and you “trust” them doesn’t mean you should invest money in their company. You need to actually take the steps to verify a business is legitimate before you hand over $250,000. And who hands over 250k with the expectation that they’ll make a $37,500 profit? Did he really think he was going to get a 15% ROI?

    • badintent - Sep 20, 2013 at 12:31 AM

      Bernie Kosar was a Business Major. He said he learned that a 10 % return on investment is damn good.Too bad he didn’t apply the same to his own business.

  5. littlw01 - Sep 19, 2013 at 6:14 PM

    “Villanueva tried to do the right thing — invest his money with someone he trusted for a project in an area he wanted to give back to.” Villanueva was not trying to give back anything—he was trying to make money…… lol

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