An executive for the Miami Heat has been placed on leave by the team in the wake of an investigation by the FBI into a suspected money laundering scheme that occurred when he was an executive with the Sacramento Kings, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The executive is Jeffrey David who started his job as the Miami Heat’s chief revenue officer on July 9. He is suspected of siphoning off $13.4 million from two of the team’s top sponsors and using the funds to purchase beachfront property in Southern California.
The funds in question include $9 from Golden 1 Credit Union, which signed a 20-year, $120-million agreement in 2015 to become the naming-rights sponsor for the Kings’ Golden 1 Center, and an additional $4.4 million from the Kaiser Permanente Foundation.
According to the report, the allegedly embezzled funds were unrelated to any ticketing operations for the franchise but rather funneled directly from business partners. Golden 1 holds a multimillion-dollar naming rights agreement for the Kings arena, which David negotiated according to a release announcing his hiring in Miami. Kaiser Permanente was an advertising partner with the team.
The FBI and federal prosecutors are reportedly looking into the matter.
“That investigation is underway and on Monday, U.S. Department of Justice authorities began the formal process of recovering and seizing the properties involved in the investigation,” the Kings wrote in a statement to The Sacramento Bee.
“We are aware of the investigation of Jeff David, which focuses on events that took place prior to his joining our team,” the Heat said in a statement. “We are fully cooperating with the authorities.”