NBA

Kevin Garnett Once Sued His Accountant for $77 Million

Over the years, many NBA players have dealt with many financial difficulties. That has ranged from various situations that have put them in tight spots where they seen them lose millions of dollars from questionable decisions off the court. That saw soon-to-be Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett fall in that path as his decision to put some sketchy people around him cost him a significant amount of money. That led to Garnett to explore the legal route of a $77 million lawsuit in an attempt to recoup that lost amount.

Kevin Garnett’ NBA career earnings

Garnett spent 21 seasons in the NBA that saw him put forth an impressive career that established him as one of the greatest players in league history.

That also earned him the opportunity to cash in a significant way through his various contracts. It helped guide him to sit at the top of the list for career earnings at roughly $334.3 million over his two-plus decades in the NBA that put him at around averaging 15.9 million per season.

Garnett was well worth the massive paydays that he earned throughout his playing days as he has firmly established himself as one of the best power forwards of all time. He had a well-decorated career that saw him earn 15 All-Star selections, an NBA title, A Defensive Player of the Year award, four All-NBA First Team nods, three All-NBA Second Team selections, two All-NBA Third Team nominations, nine All-Defensive First Team nods, and three All-NBA Defensive Second Team selections.

Garnett was a game-changing talent made the most of himself coming out of high school to put forth a first-ballot Hall of Fame career. However, he had some misguidance off the court that cost him $77 million.

Kevin Garnett’s $77 Million Lawsuit

It hasn’t all been green pastures for Garnett off the court as he had to deal with some financial issues that flared up over his career.

That led him to go the route of filing a $77 million lawsuit in September 2018 against Kentucky-based accountant Michael Wertheim and Welenken CPAs. It was on the claim that they enabled Charles Banks IV of Atlanta to defraud former star forward through the shared business that Garnett with Banks, according to the Associated Press.

The lawsuit also voiced that Wertheim knew that Banks was “helping himself to millions of dollars of Garnett’s money and did nothing about it.” The grounds of the claims painted 15-time All-Star’s former accountant in the corner of allowing millions of dollars to be taken without any actions in response.

Banks was not named a defendant in the case as he was sentenced in 2017 to four years in federal prison for his involvement in defrauding former San Antonio Spurs great Tim Duncan of millions of dollars.

The lawsuit also stated that Wertheim was responsible for financial statements along with being a registered agent for businesses that Garnett was correlated with through a financial interest. It also claimed that he had put his name on bank accounts that held money from the star forward. 

Kevin Garnett drops lawsuit

Nearly a year later, in July 2019, Garnett’s team of attorneys dismissed the lawsuit against his former accountants.

The decision came after the two had reached a deal that would no longer make the suit necessary as all claims would be dismissed and the case closed.

Before the two sides reached an agreement on a deal, Wertheim had argued that his firm was told by Banks to do accounting services for himself and Garnett. The basis of their defense was that they never spoke to the star forward about his financial decisions, and Wertheim had met the soon-to-be Hall of Famer once at a game.

Nonetheless, it was a situation that Garnett tried to recoup the millions that he lost over the years. All of that came down to poor decision making in what wound up being a significant financial loss on his behalf.