MARIETTA, Ga. (CN) - Former NBA player Courtney Jason Alexander stole $469,000 from an employee by promising to share profits from sponsorship events that never happened, the man claims in court.
Walter Frierson Jr. sued Courtney Jason Alexander dba Georgia Press aka CA Press, a nonprofit, in Cobb County Superior Court.
Alexander was the 13th pick in the 2000 NBA draft, after leading NCAA Division I in scoring, averaging 24.8 points per game at Fresno State. He played for the Dallas Mavericks, then was traded during his rookie season to the Washington Wizards, where he played until 2002. A string of injuries kept him out of the league for the next three seasons. In October 2006, he was signed by the Denver Nuggets, but was waived on Oct. 15.
Alexander founded the Courtney Alexander Press (CA Press), a nonprofit youth organization that focuses on developing academic, social and leadership skills in young athletes, according to its website.
Frierson claims Alexander hired him in 2010 to coordinate sponsorship events for the nonprofit, and asked him to pay $10,000 in exchange for 40 percent of all profits from camps, tournaments, keynote dinners and other events Alexander would attend in Georgia.
A month later, in July 2010, Alexander made Frierson a "national director" and promised to share 15 percent of profits from national events, in exchange for another $40,000, according to the complaint.
Frierson claims Alexander lured him with promises of big-money deals, such as a five-year Nike sponsorship allegedly worth $25 million, and persuaded him to pour more money into the nonprofit.
After Frierson contributed another $200,000, for rights to 50 percent of profits from international events and 20 percent from consulting revenue, Alexander claimed the IRS was auditing his corporation and had stopped him from releasing any sponsorship money or paying employees, according to the lawsuit.
Frierson claims Alexander asked him to make a $150,000 payment to the IRS, allegedly to unfreeze the corporation's funds, and to pay half of the court costs and fees in a lawsuit against the IRS.
He claims that Alexander told him the IRS had cost him a $500 million deal with Michael Jordan's brand.
After Frierson and his wife paid more money to settle IRS claims, Alexander announced he had decided to give up sponsorships, because CA Press had garnered $11.1 million without them, Frierson claims in the lawsuit.
Hoping to recover the promised profits, Frierson agreed to fund one last deal, allegedly with Nike and Michael Jordan's company, allegedly worth an unprecedented $12.5 billion, according to the complaint.
But Frierson claims the deal fell through and triggered another IRS audit.
He says he has yet to see a dime from the events, which never took place.
Frierson seeks compensatory and punitive damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and fraud. He also wants his $469,000 returned.
He is represented by Laquetta Pearson of Atlanta.
CA Press did not respond to requests for comment Monday.
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