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Adviser ordered to pay back $7.5M to NBA star 'likely' to appeal

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NBA legend Tim Duncan will fight to ensure his former adviser Charles Augustus Banks IV begins serving his four-year sentence as scheduled next month, even if Banks appeals.

"We will oppose any delay in execution of sentence," says J. Tullos Wells, attorney for the former power forward for the San Antonio Spurs and the team's general counsel. "We believe [Banks] is trying to get as much time as possible to continue to find ways to access other peoples' money."

Banks' attorney, John Murphy, had just one word to offer in response: "Nonsense."

Murphy also said that Banks is "very likely" to appeal.

In June, a federal judge in District Court in San Antonio, Texas, sentenced Banks to prison and ordered him to pay $7.5 million in restitution to Duncan. Banks, an adviser turned winery owner, pleaded guilty in April to one count of wire fraud for lying about the terms of a loan that he convinced Duncan to make in a sports merchandising company, Gameday Entertainment in Colorado.

Banks also persuaded Duncan to invest in his winemaking ventures. One of his companies, Terroir Life, owns wineries around the world, including well-known brands like Qupé and Wind Gap. The fallout from his legal struggles has landed Banks in disputes with some of his partners in the wine world.

Duncan also has civil suits pending against Banks over other investments.

Duncan has said he is pursuing claims against Banks to prevent him from harming other clients, many of whom are also professional athletes.

During the sentencing last month, Duncan's longtime former on-court rival, Kevin Garnett, who remains a client of Banks, sat with Banks' family across another kind of court from Duncan. Over the course of their careers, the two former pro basketball players met 52 times in NBA games, according to the San Antonio Express-News. Garnett recently retired from the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Banks used to work for CSI Capital Management, before SunTrust Banks acquired it in 2011.

In a 2015 interview with Financial Planning, Banks called Duncan's complaints about him "naïve and immature and total nonsense."

Last month, faced with the prospect of a maximum 20 years in prison, Banks said to Duncan in the courtroom, "I'm sorry I lied. I'm sorry I abused your trust."

An appeal would be heard in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, according to Murphy. Banks is scheduled to begin serving his term on August 28.

To delay the start date and remain out on bail, Banks would need to seek permission from the court in San Antonio, according to Murphy. If denied, he could try again with the court in New Orleans, Murphy added.

When asked if convicted felons often receive permission to stay out of jail while appealing their cases, Wells said, "Not in the federal system."

On July 13, the SEC announced it had barred Banks from securities industry.

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