Former NBA player Tate George was sentenced to nine years in prison on Thursday by a federal judge in Trenton, N.J., for running a $2 million Ponzi scheme.
George, who played for the New Jersey Nets and the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA, was convicted in 2013 on four wire fraud counts. Among his victims were past and present NBA players and celebrities, including Charlie Villanueva, Brevin Knight and "The Apprentice" winner Randal Pinkett.
The 47-year-old George, who has been in jail since his conviction, argued for more than 1 1/2 hours in court for leniency while maintaining his innocence.
Prosecutors argued that George used money from individuals who invested in his company to pay off earlier investors. He was ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution and serve three years of supervised release.
George played college basketball at Connecticut. The 6-foot-5 guard is best remembered for making the winning basket in the NCAA Tournament game at the buzzer against Clemson in 1990.