Man who defrauded 3 Heat players to be sentenced Thursday

Thursday January 15th, 2015

A man who pleaded guilty to defrauding three former Miami Heat players and the franchise will be sentenced on Thursday in federal court, the Associated Press' Andrew Welsh-Huggins reports.

Haider Zafar lied about his personal wealth and took millions of dollars from several Heat players. Rashard Lewis ($4 million), Mike Miller ($2.6 million) and James Jones ($1.5 million) each gave money to Zafar in 2013, believing it be a sound investment. He used their money "for his personal use and benefit," FBI agent David Fine said.

Zafar also lied to the team and received a three-season, $1 million ticket package in exchange for using his influence in the business world to help the franchise. He never paid for the tickets.

In October, Zafar pleaded guilty to five wire fraud charges that each come with up 20 years in prison. The fifth charge stemmed from Zafar taking $10 million from a man in Washington, D.C. using a similar ruse.

Zafar boasted of $35 million in a Swiss bank account and luxury residences in New York City and Miami and was often seen being chauffeured in a yellow Ferrari, a white Bentley and a black Escalade, Fine testified last year.

- Paul Palladino

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