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Real estate deal leads to bankruptcy for former basketball star

Just recently, we brought you the story of how former pro basketball player Antoine Walker is working to help young professional athletes avoid the pitfalls of sudden wealth that led him to file bankruptcy within two years after his retirement. Among the lessons that Walker, in partnership with Morgan Stanley, is teaching is the importance of avoiding risky investments.

It’s a failed investment deal that has led another former basketball star into bankruptcy. The Chapter 7 filing was made not by Laettner, but by five of his investment partners who say that he owes them over $14 million for a North Carolina real estate development deal that went bad.

Although he spent 13 years playing for various teams in the National Basketball Association, where he reportedly earned some $61 million, Laettner is perhaps best known for his years at Duke University. He helped take the team to back-to-back national titles in 1991 and 1992 — albeit with tactics that were considered less than sportsmanlike, including stomping on another player’s chest.

About half the money that Laettner is said to owe (over $7 million) is to one company. The remaining creditors are claiming that he owes them between $236,000 and almost $1,500,000. An attorney for Laettner says that his client “has done and continues to do everything possible to repay his fellow investors.” He says that Laettner hopes that they can reach a settlement so that the involuntary Chapter 7 filing can be dismissed. He has to respond to the filing no later than July 22.

Involuntary bankruptcy can be a frightening and daunting position in which to find yourself. However, an experienced New York bankruptcy attorney can provide guidance and work to protect your interests.

Source: Buffalo Business First, “Christian Laettner forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing by creditors,” James Fink, July 05, 2016

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