Federal prosecutors issued a subpoena to the NBA Players Association Friday seeking financial records and other documents amid questions about union activities with companies that employed relatives of the group's executive director, a source familiar with the case told NBC 4 New York.
Executive Director G. William Hunter has denied any wrongdoing and a spokesman said he would have no comment in the federal investigation.
“The NBPA will cooperate fully with the government’s investigation,” said NBPA spokesman Dan Wasserman.
There have been questions about NBPA money invested with firms that have ties to Hunter’s son, including a now-defunct Interstate Net Bank that was based in Cherry Hill, N.J.
During the lockout, the NBPA also retained a law firm that hired Hunter’s daughter. Attorneys with that firm, Steve Wheeless and Lawrence Katz, did not immediately return calls. But the firm in the past has said it was qualified to handle the NBPA matters and handled them appropriately.
The NBPA has acknowledged there are questions about its “leadership, finances and business practices.” A special six-member committee of players and union executives will now oversee an audit.
Hunter has recused himself from that process.
The players union has hired white-collar lawyer Ted Wells to conduct an internal inquiry.
A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment as did an FBI spokesman.
One source familiar with the union issues said questions could center on internal disclosure problems versus any allegations of corruption. But the source said the investigation is just getting started.
The union said it "looks forward to putting these matters to rest and to continuing to assists all NBA players in achieving their goals, both on and off the court,” Wasserman said.
Pat Garrity, a former NBA players union treasurer who is in part credited with first raising questions about Hunter’s financial management, did not return a call for comment to his Bridgewater Associates office.
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