March Madness Star Indicted for Ponzi Scheme

On the 22nd anniversary of hitting one of the most famous shots in NCAA Tournament history, Tate George finds himself in jail today.

The Connecticut guard whose buzzer-beating jumper to beat Clemson in the 1990 Sweet 16 is one of the indelible images of March Madness was indicted by a Newark grand jury today for allegedly orchestrating a $2 million Ponzi scheme.

George is being indicted on four counts of wire fraud for allegedly convincing investors to pay him more than $2 million to finance a virtually nonexistent real-estate investment business called The George Group. Prosecutors say that George used the money instead to repay debts, fund home-improvement projects and pay for meals, clothes and gas.

If convicted, George faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and $250,000 each for all four counts.

This isn’t the type of March Madness the former UConn star is accustomed to.

George’s miraculous shot 22 years ago came off a length-of-the-court pass from teammate Scott Burrell. George deftly gathered the 94-foot pass in near the baseline, turned around and buried a 16-foot shot to give Connecticut an improbable 71-70 victory over Clemson to advance to the East Regional finals.

A few months later George was selected by the New Jersey Nets in the first round of the NBA draft. He played four seasons for the Nets and later the Milwaukee Bucks.

George surrendered to authorities on the fraud charges back in September. He is CEO of The George Group. 

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