Heat players targeted in alleged real estate scam

Monday August 26th, 2013

Mike Miller reportedly was a victim of an alleged real estate scam. (Issac Baldizon/NBA/Getty ImageS) Mike Miller reportedly was a victim of an alleged real estate scam. (Issac Baldizon/NBA/Getty Images)

Miami Heat players were among the victims of an alleged multimillion-dollar real estate scam, according to witness testimony, the Associated Press report.

A U.S. District judge denied bond on a 135-count indictment of Haider Zafar, a former Ohio resident now living in South Florida,. Zafar pleaded not guilty last month to all charges. His attorney, Samuel Shamansky, on Friday said they will continue to challenge the accusations.

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From the NBA.com:

A criminal complaint says Zafar, a Pakistan native and U.S. legal resident, used questionable documents to solicit the funds from Sidhu for real-estate ventures in Pakistan.

The complaint accuses Zafar of telling Sidhu that his uncle was Pakistan's defense minister and was responsible for buying property for that country's government. It says Zafar told Sidhu they could buy land in Pakistan and later sell it to the government for a profit.

The basketball players aren't mentioned in the criminal complaint.

The witness who testified during Thursday's hearing, international-investment attorney Andrew Fine, said some Heat players, including former forward Mike Miller, and other Florida residents invested $8 million with Zafar. The other players are forward Rashard Lewis and guard James Jones, a person with knowledge of the case told The Associated Press. The person requested anonymity because it is an active investigation.

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