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Ex-NBA player Tate George charged in Ponzi scheme

Guard Tate George of the New Jersey Nets looks on during a game against the Denver Nuggets at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado during the 1991 - 1992 season.
Tim DeFrisco /Allsport/Getty

(CBS/AP) NEWARK, N.J. - A former NBA player has been indicted in New Jersey on federal charges he ran a more than $2 million Ponzi scheme.

Prosecutors say C. Tate George, better known as Tate George, used The George Group to run the investment fraud scam. The indictment on four counts of wire fraud was announced Friday.

Prosecutors say the 43-year-old persuaded people, including former professional athletes, to invest in what he promised would be high-return real estate projects in New Jersey and Connecticut. According to CBS Radio station WFAN in New York, George claimed the company had over $500 million in operating assets.

The U.S. attorney's office says George instead used some of the money to pay existing investors and personal expenses.

George played for the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks. The former University of Connecticut player is perhaps best known for hitting a buzzer beater in the 1990 NCAA Tournament.

The former player now faces up to 20 years in prison and will have to pay $250,000 in fines if convicted, WFAN reported.

His attorney didn't immediately return a call for comment.