On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced Charles Banks, the former financial adviser of Tim Duncan for a wire fraud conviction for a $6 million investment deal with the NBA great. Banks had pleaded guilty earlier this year. He faced up to 20 years in prison, and Judge Fred Biery decided to sentence him to four years.
Duncan was satisfied.
“I’m fine with what they decided,” the former San Antonio Spurs forward told reporters after the sentencing hearing. “I see putting someone in prison is not what you want out of this, but when you break the law, you do a crime, you have to do … you have to pay up. And, unfortunately, this is … that’s what happened.”
Earlier this week, Duncan appeared in court to deliver a victim impact statement that touched on issues affecting athletes as well as judicial equality. He said that he had “prided [himself] on not being the stereotypical dumb athlete that can easily be taken advantage of.” Duncan told the judge that that now that he’s the “poster child for a dumb athlete,” he is “embarrassed by it more than you can imagine.”
A private person who mostly stayed away from the spotlight despite being one of the greatest basketball players of all time, Duncan said that after he retired in 2016, “I told everyone I never wanted to see my name in the paper again.”
In seeking a harsh punishment for Banks, Duncan pointed out how young people face stiff penalties for stealing a lot less. “You and I both know that if some underprivileged or poor kid from a rough neighborhood stole a lot less, he’d be going to jail for many years,” the former San Antonio Spurs forward said.
Duncan did not specify how heavy a punishment he felt was proper. “I just want the court to issue a punishment in line with the fraud that has been committed against me and others,” he said, “and to make it clear … that this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
[Image via via News4 San Antonio screengrab]