Another NBA Player Having Financial Problems: Scottie Pippen
During his high-flying NBA years, former Chicago Bulls star Scottie Pippen’s life was consumed by the basketball court, and money matters were entrusted to a big-league financial guru and attorneys.
But on Tuesday, Pippen took the witness stand in a downtown Chicago courtroom and talked about how lousy financial advice led to a bad $1.35 million investment in a Gulfstream jet and a $3.25 million investment in a real estate development deal in the 1700 block of West 119th Street that eventually went bankrupt.
It was the first day of testimony in Pippen’s malpractice suit against the Chicago law firm Pedersen & Houpt. Pippen alleges two attorneys there failed to closely police the jet deal that was handled by his financial adviser Robert Lunn, considered a guru by Pippen and dozens of other wealthy clients who used his services.
Pippen already has sued Lunn, who filed for bankruptcy amid lawsuits alleging he looted other clients’ investments, loaned their money to friends and associates, and lied about it. The NBA star settled for $1.5 million.
But now Pippen is seeking $8 million from the law firm that worked with Lunn on the jet deal, claiming the firm failed to make sure an inspection was done on the aircraft before Pippen sank more than a $1 million to buy a partial share of the 25-year-old jet, which ended up needing an estimated $1 million engine overhaul months after the deal closed, according to Pippen’s attorneys.
The jet deal went south when another investor defaulted — leaving Pippen alone to pay off the balance of a $5 million loan — plus default fees — for the aircraft.
Pippen said he never spoke with attorneys from Pedersen, even when terms of the deal changed, but acknowledged that during his 13 years with the NBA that he left many financial decisions up to trusted advisors.
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Tags: Chicago Bulls, Pedersen & Houpt., Robert Lunn, Scottie Pippen