A former executive with pro basketball's Sacramento Kings is under federal investigation for allegedly embezzling $13.4 million from deals with two of the team's top sponsors and using the cash to buy beachfront properties in Southern California, authorities said.
Jeff David, 44, a marketing executive who had moved on to the NBA's Miami Heat franchise, faces the probe after Kings officials alerted federal law enforcement to “suspicious financial transactions,” Sacramento's FOX 40 reported.
The Heat have placed David on leave amid the investigation, the team said. No charges have been filed, authorities said.
One property purchased was an $8 million home in Hermosa Beach, while another was a $4 million home in Manhattan Beach, the FOX 40 report said.
While working for the Kings, David brokered lucrative sponsorship deals for the team, including with Golden 1 Credit Union and Kaiser Permanente Foundation, the Sacramento Bee reported.
"We appreciate the swift action on behalf of the officials at the FBI and US Attorney for the Eastern District of California McGregor Scott as they work to complete this investigation and we will take appropriate action once it is complete."
David also helped negotiate a $120 million deal for naming the Kings' home arena, Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center.
Law enforcement is now investigating whether David purchased two upscale properties in Southern California with money siphoned from the Golden 1 and Kaiser Permanente deals, reports said.
U.S. Department of Justice authorities on Monday began the process of recovering and seizing the properties involved in the investigation, a Kings statement said.
“We appreciate the swift action on behalf of the officials at the FBI and U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California McGregor Scott as they work to complete this investigation and we will take appropriate action once it is complete,” the statement said.
David left the Kings earlier this summer to work for the Heat as executive vice president and chief revenue officer, according to the Heat's website.
At the time of David’s hiring, Heat president of business operations Eric Woolworth called him “supremely qualified” to help the franchise. David has been placed on leave amid the investigation, South Florida's Sun-Sentinel reported.
The NBA's league office has commented on the matter.
“We are aware of the situation involving Jeff David and have been in contact with the Kings and Heat organizations as well as law enforcement,” NBA spokesman Mike Bass told USA Today. “We will continue to monitor for any developments.”
David’s Miami-based attorneys said he is cooperating with law enforcement. The U.S. Attorney’s office in Sacramento declined to comment and the team provided no further details.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.