Real Identity Theft Stories | Case #7: Sacramento Kings Executive Swindles Team for $13.4 Million
This blog series is dedicated to sharing real-world stories of the most serious cases of stolen identities – and just how devastating these crimes can be on organizations, individuals, and families. This recap focuses on how a former Sacramento Kings executive used money from team sponsors to purchase prime real estate in Southern California.
About the Identity Thief
Jeff David was the chief revenue officer for the NBA’s Sacramento Kings from 2011 to July 2018. During his tenure, David was responsible for overseeing the $120 million deal for the team’s arena sponsorship naming rights with Golden One Credit Union and Kaiser Permanente. While executing the agreement, he created his own limited liability company called Sacramento Sports Partners without NBA approval. This LLC is the vessel he would use to commit his fraud.
How the Fraud Occurred
Using Sacramento Sports Partners as a cover, David directed associates at Golden One Credit Union and Kaiser Permanente to make advance payments of fees pertaining to their sponsorship agreement. He then forged the signatures of the Kings’ president, as well as officials of the sponsor companies, to make sure the payments were deposited into a bank account he controlled. These combined funds totaled $13.4 million.
After the transactions successfully processed, David spent the money on two oceanfront properties in Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. He also made improvements to the homes, paid $100,000 to a private jet company, and paid off tens of thousands of dollars of personal debt.
The Kings Caught On
In June of 2018, David left the Kings’ organization to join the Miami Heat. After his departure, team employees uncovered his scheme by recognizing the unusual transactions. They brought their findings to federal officials, at which point the prosecution began.
Fraudster Fesses Up
The FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California swiftly took action to seize the properties so they couldn’t be sold or transferred. David fully confessed to investigators, and further revealed smaller instances of fraud he had previously committed. As a result of his transparency, he was offered a plea agreement on the condition he pleads guilty for wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. His hearing will take place in January 2019.
It’s expected that prosecutors will argue for a sentence of eight and a half years in prison. David’s crimes carry a minimum 24-month sentence.