The salaries of professional basketball players naturally impress sports fans in California, but the federal lawsuit filed by Kevin Garnett illustrates the risks that wealthy individuals take when they entrust others with their millions. Garnett, now retired from a career with the Timberwolves and Celtics, alleges that his accountant knew that Garnett’s wealth manager and business partner was stealing. According to court filings, the wealth manager took $77 million of the professional athlete’s money.

The malpractice lawsuit named the accountant and his firm as defendants. Garnett claims that the accountant did nothing as the wealth manager shifted millions away from businesses that Garnett had invested in.

The lawsuit did not target the wealth manager because he is already serving a four-year federal prison sentence. Last year, a court convicted him for defrauding another retired NBA player. A defense attorney representing the accountant said that the defendants plan to fight the allegations.

Professional malpractice lawsuits like this one seek to recover damages from professionals who failed to meet their obligations to serve their clients in good faith. A person who has questions about missing money or a service provider’s unreasonable charges or potentially fraudulent fees could consult an attorney. A case evaluation could reveal evidence that a professional did not exhibit the appropriate standard of care. Evidence of misconduct or criminal actions could enable an attorney to take legal action. Initially, an attorney might prepare a claim against the other party’s malpractice insurer or discuss a settlement directly with the opposing party. If initial efforts do not resolve the case, then an attorney might recommend litigation.

Source: USA Today, “Kevin Garnett files lawsuit alleging accountant helped wealth manager steal $77M“, Sept. 6, 2018