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Thursday, January 7, 2010
Smith pleads not guilty to stealing $735K

Associated Press

SANTA ANA, Calif. -- Los Angeles Clippers announcer Michael Smith has pleaded not guilty to stealing $735,000 from a golfing buddy in a failed development deal.

Orange County district attorney's spokeswoman Farrah Emami says Smith posted $25,000 bond Thursday. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5.

Smith and business partner Bruce Furst are charged with grand theft. They are accused of persuading a friend into using his home for collateral on a $735,000 loan to finance a Dana Point development deal. The market collapsed, the deal went sour and the victim is expected to lose his home.

Smith and Furst face up to five years in prison if convicted. Furst posted bail Monday.

Smith, 44, played for the Clippers and Boston Celtics before becoming a broadcaster.