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. Jeffrey R. David, who joined the Heat earlier this summer, 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.”
David is Chief Revenue Officer for the Heat, in charge of “local, regional, national and international business opportunities while overseeing the Corporate Sales and Service, Premium Seating and Service and the Ticket Sales departments.” He held a similar position with the Sacramento organization prior to his going to the Miami franchise.
The Kings and Heat have both issued statements confirming the investigation. Attorneys for David confirmed he is working with law enforcement but declined to comment further.
Allegedly, David was operating a money laundering scheme that diverted $9 million from the Golden 1 Credit Union and another $4.4 million from Kaiser Permanente Foundation that should have gone to the Kings organization. The diverted funds were instead used to purchase a beachfront home in California worth $8 million and another worth $3.4 million, as well as renovations on the first property.
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.
Criminal charges have not been filed at this time.
The investigation began in August after a Kings employee found a folder labeled “Turbo Tax” that raised suspicions.
“Last week, we alerted federal law enforcement to suspicious financial transactions involving a former Kings employee, Jeff David,” the team said in a statement. “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.
“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 all appropriate action once it is complete.”