In painstaking and heartbreaking detail, ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz outlined Sacramento Kings chief revenue officer Jeff David’s decade-long scheme to defraud the team and its partners of more than $13 million. The story reads like an investigative thriller and is requisite material for all human resource departments.
The news first broke in August 2018, when the Sacramento Bee’s Sam Stanton and Darrell Smith revealed David’s scheme to siphon $13.4 million from Kings sponsors Golden 1 Credit Union and Kaiser Permanente into an account for the shell consulting company he founded in 2009, Sacramento Sports Partners LLC. David pled guilty in January to wire fraud and aggravated identity theft after using the funds to purchase two homes worth a combined $11.8 million in Southern California, among other luxuries. He was sentenced to seven years at West Virginia’s Federal Correctional Institution in June.
The most thrilling part about Arnovitz’s story follows Kings senior vice president of human resources Stacy Wegzyn, who stumbled upon David’s scheme while looking for a copy of his commission structure for the corporate sales team in the wake of his June 2018 exit. David accepted the same CRO position with the Miami Heat a month later, and rather than reach out to the former employee directly, Wegzyn opted instead to have the organization’s IT department access his archived files on their cloud system.
It was there in July 2018 that Wegzyn discovered a file labeled “TurboTax,” which led her to the discovery of Sacramento Sports Partners LLC, which led her to the $13.4 million funneled from Golden 1 and Kaiser Permanente, which led her to contracts with team president Chris Granger’s signature forged by David. What Arnovitz uncovered is something out of Ben Affleck’s “The Accountant,” only Wegzyn is compiling her evidence in the days and hours around dropping her daughter off at college.
After doing much of the work for them, Wegzyn contacted the FBI, who sent investigator John Sommercamp to David’s doorstep on the day he was moving his wife and three children into a new home in an upscale suburban Miami neighborhood. It is there that the story turns heart-wrenching.
Arnovitz lays out how David’s fears of losing his job and failing to provide for his family in 2009 led to the formation of a consulting firm he never ended up needing — how a $30,000 scheme in 2012 became a multi-million one by 2016 that left him broke and unable to see his children for the foreseeable future.
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