Future NBA Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett is suing an accountant and his firm, alleging they helped a wealth manager steal $77 million.
Garnett has filed a federal malpractice lawsuit against accountant Michael Wertheim and his firm Welenken CPAs alleging that they helped wealth manager Charles A. Banks IV to defraud him. The suit claims that Wertheim “possessed actual knowledge that Banks was helping himself to millions of dollars of Garnett’s money and did nothing about it” over the course of several years.
“Banks intentionally … looted Garnett of his earnings and assets for many years, including the many years that Welenken and Wertheim provided accounting services to Garnett and his business interests,” the suit reads. There’s an allegation contained within the court documents that accuse Wertheim of taking “direction from Banks and for some reason chose to have virtually no contact with Garnett.”
The California-based venture Hammer Holdings made investments with the understanding that Garnett and Banks made an agreed upon an arrangement that held a 50-50 interest. Under Banks’ advice, Garnett contributed $57 million while he put forth only about $2.5 million.
Banks was sentenced last year to four years in federal prison for defrauding another former NBA star, retired San Antonio Spurs player Tim Duncan, of millions of dollars.