Kevin Garnett, a retired Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics star is suing an accountant together with his firm for professional negligence. The basketball star is alleging the accountant of aiding a wealth manager steal money amounting to £58.74 m.
The federal malpractice lawsuit alleges Michael Wertheim, an accountant based in Kentucky and Welenken CPAs of enabling Charles Banks of Atlanta of defrauding the star. This was in businesses that Garnett and Banks shared an interest and were involved in.
There is clear professional negligence portrayed as the lawsuit shows. It contends the accountant of possessing actual knowledge that the manager, Banks was helping himself to Garnett’s millions yet Wertheim did nothing about it.
As per the suit, Wertheim took instructions from Banks and for unknown reasons decided not to contact Mr Garnett. Wertheim prepared financial statements of the business interests the basketball star had. The accountant was even a registered agent for these companies Garnett chose to invest in. It is claimed that Wertheim had his name in the bank accounts holding Garnett money.
According to the suit, there were set budgets by Wertheim, who “worked in concert” with the manager Banks. The NBA all-star Garnett was urged to follow these budgets and was even on a budget.
The lawsuit states that Banks intentionally stole for many years the earnings as well as assets that belong to Garnett. The looting took place even during the many years Welenken and Wertheim offered their accounting services to the basketball star and his business interests.
A defence attorney, Greg Simpson, talking to the Star Tribune said he advised his clients to deny the allegations and they will “vigorously fight the lawsuit. The suit, which was filed in Hennepin County District Court initially was moved to U.S District Court in Minneapolis a few days ago.
Banks who was sentenced last year to 4 years for defrauding yet another former NBA star Tim Duncan, a retired San Antonio Spurs millions of dollars was not named as a defendant. Interestingly, in one of the San Antonio Spurs star’s deals with the wealth manager, Duncan said he was told of a partner who would be Garnett.
While Garnett’s lawyer, Mark Gaughan refused to explain why Banks was not a defendant, he did talk about the confidence they had in winning the suit. According to Gaughan, the matter will eventually be resolved in favour of Mr Garnett based on the facts of the lawsuit.
Mr Garnett, who retired with the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2016 is most definitely looking for a substantial compensation. For such act of professional negligence as that alleged by Mr Garnett requires highly qualified, experienced and committed attorneys. It might be helpful to seek knowledgeable ones for anyone who finds themselves in such a situation.