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Several Heat players embroiled in real estate scam

Everyone knows stories of NBA players getting involved in bad investments with distant relatives or shady businessmen or, even, trusted fiduciaries like agents or managers. The cold reality of the NBA is that young men who typically have not had a lot of money in their lives are given a whole lot of money very quickly.

We all saw Broke on ESPN and read the Sports Illustrated article which came out in March 2009.

The investigation of Haider Zafar in a federal court in Ohio for a fraud scheme that includes several real estate investments has drawn in several Miami Heat players, including Mike Miller, James Jones and Rashard Lewis.

A witness in the case testified Monday that Zafar ripped off several Heat players as part of his real estate scheme. From the Associated Press:

The witness who testified during Thursday's hearing, international-investment attorney Andrew Fine, said some Heat players, including former forward Mike Miller, and other Florida residents invested $8 million with Zafar. The other players are forward Rashard Lewis and guard James Jones, a person with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because it is an active investigation.

The Heat, in a statement Friday, said the team remains in "constant contact" with the authorities handling the investigation.

The Heat players were not named in the complaint. It is unclear whether they will seek any remedies in Florida or try to intervene in the case in any way. It could be a lost investment for them. It appears though that the case will move forward in Ohio. The judge refused to set bond for Zafar because he is a potential flight risk.

At least those Heat players still have their championship rings to keep them warm at night.

Philip Rossman-Reich

About Philip Rossman-Reich

Philip Rossman-Reich is the managing editor for Crossover Chronicles and Orlando Magic Daily. You can follow him on twitter @OMagicDaily

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