Mike Miller is no longer a member of the Miami Heat but he is considering filing a lawsuit against the Heat after being defrauded of $1.7 million by Haider Zafar. Zafar was not an employee of the organization, but was allegedly introduced to Miller by the Heat’s executive vice president of sales, Stephen Weber, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
“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.”
Allegedly, Miller was led to believe Zafar would invest his money into a high-yield private fund. According to the Miami Herald, it was later discovered Zafar had no access to such fund and used $700,000 of Miller’s “investment” money to pay for courtside seats at Heat games.
The complaint states that Zafar had drawn an agreement with the Heat to spend $3 million over three years for seats and “other benefits” in December but did not submit payment. Zafar asked Weber to introduce him to Heat players who had businesses he could “invest in” in January, which was the point of contact between the parties.
Miller’s complaint also states the Heat knew Zafar was using a “false or at least unofficial identity” and was under investigation by the IRS prior to the January meeting. James Jones and Rashard Lewis were also defrauded by Zafar. He is currently imprisoned in Ohio awaiting trial on unrelated fraud charges.