Michael Smith, 44 of Laguna Hills plead not guilty to charges of grand theft and sentencing enhancements for loss over $100,000. Smith, a commentator for the Los Angeles Clippers and former NBA player is accused conning a friend into using the friend's home as collateral in a real estate development project.
Orange County prosecutors allege Smith and an alleged accomplice Bruce Furst, 57 of Laguna Hills made false statements to the victim, a retired school teacher to induce the former teacher to put up his paid off home in Dana Point as collateral for a business deal. The school teacher alleges he put up his $735,000 for what he was told was a no-risk and 100 percent guaranteed.
The victim, 65 suffers from an inoperable brain tumor and prosecutors are going to be taking his testimony via videotape for a future court trial.
If convicted, as charged, Smith could face mandatory state prison time and is currently out on $25,000 bail.