Jailed this week
An ex-executive of the Sacramento Kings, a National Basketball Association (NBA) team, has been sentenced to seven years in jail after he admitted stealing from sponsors.
Jeffrey David’s trail of deceit was found after he left to join the NBA’s Miami Heat last year, also as an executive, and a staff member discovered evidence of siphoning on an office computer. This subsequently led to an FBI investigation, the results of which were revealed in court to Judge William Shubb.
Evidence left on the computer showed that David stole $13.4m (£10.5m) from the team by asking high-profile sponsors to pay up front. He then used the funds to buy luxury homes in Florida with the intent to save for his future, including his children’s college fund. This was despite the executive earning already around $300,000 (£236,000) from his full-time job [$280,000 (£220,000) salary plus an annual bonus].
Money came from two sponsors
The money came from just two sponsors: the Golden 1 Credit Union, which gave $9m (£7.1m), and the Kaiser Permanente Foundation, which gave $4.4m (£3.5m). David was able to get away with the scheme because of its complex multi-level agreement, which included naming rights for the Golden 1 Center, a stadium that cost $120m (£94.4m) over 20 years.
David himself was in charge of such contracts, which made it easier for him to pocket the cash ahead of schedule. He then used it to purchase an $8m (£6.3m) home in Hermosa Beach.
Once his siphoning came to light, the Kings released a statement: “We appreciate the swift action on behalf of the officials at the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, McGregor Scott, as they work to complete this investigation and we will take all appropriate action once it is complete.”
In court, he was asked why he did. David replied that his plan was to sell the homes, return the money he had taken from the Kings, and keep what remained of the profit. He said, “I had intended to keep the profits for my kids’ college and my retirement.”
The judge dismissed the story as being “not credible.” He said, “It’s not worthy of belief. I don’t believe that was his intention. It doesn’t make sense.”
In addition to the $8m property, David bought membership of a private jet and shared out the cash to family members. Judge Shubb sentenced him to jail for seven years.
The Sacramento Kings have yet to comment on the sentencing.