Monday, August 17, 2009
Updated: August 18, 10:26 AM ET
Carmelo sues former business manager
DENVER -- Carmelo Anthony is suing his former business manager, alleging he misappropriated more than $2 million of the Denver Nuggets star's assets.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, Calif., on Monday, alleges that Anthony's former business manager, Larry W. Harmon, and employees of Larry Harmon & Associates P.A., breached their fiduciary duties by transferring $1.75 million of Anthony's money without his knowledge or consent to a company formed by Harmon, most of it in 2008.
Another $265,500 was discovered to have been invested in third parties without Anthony's knowledge or consent between 2005 and 2008, according to the lawsuit, which seeks recovery of the approximately $2 million, plus punitive damages.
"I intend to aggressively represent Carmelo Anthony," his Beverly Hills-based attorney, Robert W. Hirsh, told The Associated Press. "The evidence which I have reviewed strongly suggests that Carmelo Anthony's former business manager plundered his assets. It is reprehensible that professional athletes are so often victimized."
Reached at his office in Roseville, Calif., Harmon said he was unaware of the lawsuit.
He declined to comment on the allegations in the lawsuit or on his dealings with Anthony. "I guess I'll just wait and see what he alleges," Harmon said.
The discrepancies were discovered after Anthony ended his business relationship with Harmon and hired a new manager to manage his assets earlier this year, according to the lawsuit. That new financial management firm, Gelfand, Rennert & Feldman, discovered the financial discrepancies.
The lawsuit alleges that significant documents were missing when Harmon transferred Anthony's records to his new business manager.
"Further, portions of the books and records are miscoded in a deliberate attempt to hide moneys converted by defendants," according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also contends that Harmon and the other defendants failed to produce any documents requested by Anthony's lawyer to explain the transfers of Anthony's money that are in question.
Anthony was the third selection in the 2003 NBA draft after leading Syracuse to the national title as a freshman. Last year, he led the Nuggets to their best season in 24 years after helping the U.S. team win the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Anthony is entering the fourth year of a five-year, $80 million contract extension he signed in 2006.