Miami Heat Players Allegedly Victimized in Real-Estate Scam

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IAugust 26, 2013

The Miami Heat may have won championships in each of the last two seasons, but life still isn’t perfect for some of their players.

According to Kathy Lynn Gray of the Columbus Dispatch, Mike Miller and other Heat players were among those victimized in a multi-million-dollar real-estate scam. Regina Garcia Cano of the Associated Press reported that the other players were James Jones and Rashard Lewis.

Haider Zafar allegedly conned Miller, Jones and Lewis—along with numerous other Florida residents—out of $8 million by using “questionable documents” to solicit funds for Pakistani real-estate ventures.

These revelations were made public after international investment attorney Andrew Fine served as a witness in federal court last Thursday.

Patwinder Sidhu, one of the main victims in this case, was allegedly taken for more than $10 million during a two-year period.

There are 135 charges being pursued against Zafar for his actions, as he allegedly attempted to convince investors that his uncle was the defense minister in Pakistan. If investors purchased land, Zafar said they would be able to sell it back to the government at a higher price.

It’s unknown exactly how much Zafar took the Heat stars for, but none were named in the criminal complaint.

Miller is no longer with Miami after the team exercised its amnesty clause to exclude his wages from the salary cap. He recently signed with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Lewis and Jones are entering the final years of their contracts and are each due to make approximately $1.5 million for the upcoming campaign.

Hopefully, this issue will be cleared up in time for the start of the 2013-14 campaign, as the Heat are going for a rare three-peat and do not need off-court distractions getting in the way.