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Report: Mike Miller considering suing Heat over $1.7 million scam

Mike Miller reportedly was a victim of an alleged real estate scam. (Issac Baldizon/NBA/Getty ImageS) Mike Miller reportedly is considering suing the Heat as part of a real estate scam. (Issac Baldizon/NBA/Getty ImageS)

Mike Miller's attorney told the Miami Herald his client is considering suing the Miami Heat after a team employee introduced him to a man who scammed Miller and other players out of millions.

Miller, who played for the Heat last season before being released following their winning the NBA championship, now plays for the Grizzlies. Settlement talks between Miller's attorney and the Heat reportedly have stalled, leading them to draw up a complaint that could become a lawsuit seeking the entire sum.

From the Herald:

Miller . . . lost $1.7 million in a scam allegedly orchestrated by Haider Zafar, a South Beach bling king who presented himself as a member of a wealthy Pakistani family.

According to Miller's complaint that has been drawn up but not yet filed, a Heat employee introduced Miller to Zafar, and Zafar used $700,000 of the money he stole from Miller to pay for courtside Heat tickets.

Settlement talks between Miller and the Heat have stalled. Miller asked for that $700,000 back from the Heat, plus attorney's fees, but “the parties were far apart,” Miller's attorney, Andrew Fine, said.

In the potential lawsuit, Miller is seeking a lot more: the entire $1.7 million that he lost in Zafar's scam.

Miller's complaint focuses on an allegation that the Heat knew that Zafar was a financial risk after he failed to pay for $3 million worth of Heat courtside seats and other team benefits.

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From the Herald:

According to the complaint which I obtained, Zafar last December agreed to spend $3 million over three seasons for Heat courtside seats and other benefits but did not submit payment.

A month later, Zafar asked Stephen Weber, who was then the Heat’s executive vice president/sales, to introduce him to “Heat players with businesses Zafar… could invest in.”

According to the complaint, Miller, “at Weber’s urging, met with Zafar at Heat offices,” and Weber told Miller that Zafar was “the real deal.”

The complaint said at the time of that January meeting, the Heat and Weber “knew that Zafar had not paid his obligation to the Heat and had disclosed he was using a false, or at least, unofficial, identity and had disclosed he was under IRS investigation.”

Miller also alleges Zafar used some of the scammed money to pay the bill for his Heat tickets.

From the Herald:

Miller determined that Zafar was a fraud in late April. Until that point, “Weber continued to vouch for Zafar even though he never paid” some of the $1 million due the Heat, according to Miller's complaint.

Between February and April, Zafar paid $700,000 of the money due for the courtside tickets. Miller's complaint claims that cash was money that Zafar stole from Miller, and the Heat needs to give that money back to Miller.

Heat players James Jones and Rashard Lewis also were defrauded by Zafar, who is imprisoned in Ohio.

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