Mike Miller and Heat Players Swindled in Real Estate Scam

The Memphis Grizzlies recently signed veteran Mike Miller to new a contract and if reports from the Columbus Dispatch are correct, he’ll need the money.

Haider Zafar has been accused of running a $10 million real estate scheme and a witness in federal court said one of Zafar’s scams netted Miller, several Miami Heat players and others.

Zafar was indicted in June on 118 counts of wire fraud, 13 counts of money laundering, one count of false income-tax return and three counts of failing to file income-tax returns.

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.

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.

The Heat released a statement saying the team remains in “constant contact” with the authorities in charge of the investigation.