Kevin Garnett Sues Accountant Alleging Firm Helped Steal $77M in Wages

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 6, 2018

FILE - In this May 6, 2008, file photo, Boston Celtics' Kevin Garnett gestures to the crowd just before tipoff in Game 1 of an NBA Eastern Conference semifinal basketball series against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Boston. A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that Kevin Garnett has informed the Minnesota Timberwolves that he will retire after 21 seasons. The two sides came to agreement on a buyout on Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, the person said. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson, File)
Winslow Townson/Associated Press

Former Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics great Kevin Garnett filed a lawsuit—which moved to U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Wednesday—alleging his accountant helped steal $77 million from him. 

The Associated Press reported on the news, noting Garnett said accountant Michael Wertheim and Welenken CPAs assisted Charles Banks IV as he stole from Garnett through business.

According to the lawsuit, Wertheim "possessed actual knowledge that Banks was helping himself to millions of dollars of Garnett's money and did nothing about it."

Garnett's lawsuit alleges Wertheim was in constant contact with Banks and even worked with him to set allowances for the forward. In contrast, the accountant allegedly rarely ever reached out to Garnett.

While Banks isn't specifically named as a defendant in the lawsuit, his name may be familiar to NBA fans. The AP noted he was sentenced to four years in federal prison in 2017 after defrauding former San Antonio Spurs All-Star Tim Duncan out of millions of dollars.

Paul Walsh of the Star Tribune also reported on the story and pointed out "the siphoning of Garnett's money ended" after Banks was sentenced to prison and Garnett's legal counsel was able to access the accounting firm's financial records.

Greg Simpson, who is Wertheim's defense attorney, told Walsh he and his client will "vigorously" fight Garnett's allegations.

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