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Adviser admits to fraud in NBA players union case


Posted Nov 14, 2013 8:57 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- The 72-year-old founder of a firm that handled the NBA players union's investments and finances has admitted to fraud.

Prosecutors say Joseph Lombardo, the founder of Ohio-based Prim Capital Corporation, pleaded guilty in a Manhattan federal court Thursday to mail fraud and conspiracy to obstruct justice.

Authorities say Lombardo used a stamp to forge the signature of a deceased general counsel for the National Basketball Players Association and another employee, a move that awarded Prim a $3 million fee over five years.

Lombardo faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 20. His lawyer says his client "is a good man who made some very poor decisions."

Prim principal Carolyn Kaufman is charged with obstructing justice and has pleaded not guilty. Her trial begins Dec. 2.

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