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NBA Star Says He Was Taken for $1 Million

MIAMI (CN) - Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer claims a Miami businessman "maliciously" blew his $1 million investment in the man's company on a "high-flying lifestyle." Boozer sued Claudio Osorio and his company, InnoVida Holdings, in Dade County Court.

Boozer also sued Osorio's wife, Amarilis, InnoVida's vice president; and Craig Toll, the CFO.

Boozer claims Osorio misrepresented himself as having a "wildly successful business track record," and InnoVida as "revolutionizing the construction industry." But he says it was all "intentionally, maliciously, fraudulently misleading and false," that the Osorios lied to him and other "targeted guests" to dupe celebrities into investing "to fund their lavish and extravagant lifestyle."

Boozer and his former wife say the Osorios promised 1,000 percent returns from projects that benefited disaster-stricken areas. But in truth, the Boozers say, "InnoVida is a defendant to at least 14 known lawsuits, including a blanket lien on the operating factory's assets."

Osorio claimed that Ernst & Young named him "Entrepreneur of the Year" in 1997 for his work as CEO of CHS Electronics, according to the complaint, but the Boozers add: "Osorio is facing a criminal investigation wherein he is accused of defrauding Swiss lenders who lost $220,000,000 (two hundred twenty million dollars) in connection with a loan that was made to CHS."

The complaint adds: "InnoVida was supposed to use plaintiffs' investment to grow a legitimate business. Instead InnoVida's business bank account were used as Osorio's, Amarilis' and Toll's personal accounts used to fund their lavish and extravagant lifestyle."

The Boozers seek damages for fraud, conversion, conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty. They are represented by David Nunez.

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