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Ex-NBA Star Allegedly Dupes African Firm in $800,000 Bitcoin Scam

Last Updated March 31, 2023 6:00 AM
Mark Emem
Last Updated March 31, 2023 6:00 AM
a couple of men playing a game of basketball
Former Washington Wizards’ Isaac Austin (Front) has been accused of swindling nearly a million dollars in bitcoin from an African trading firm. | Source: AFP PHOTO/Manny CENETA

Ex-NBA star Isaac Austin has been accused of swindling a Ghanaian firm nearly one million dollars in a Bitcoin Scam.

According to GhanaWeb, the former NBA player lured victims into investing their Bitcoin  in an automated cryptocurrency trading program run by his firm, Isaac Edward Austin and Tudor Trust.

On Austin’s LinkedIn page  the ex-basketball player is listed as a trustee of the firm.

a linked page with a picture of a basketball player
Source: LinkedIn

His Twitter account, however, makes no such mention.

a tweet with a picture of two basketball players

Ghanaian firm loses 75 Bitcoin to ex-NBA star

Per the unnamed Ghanaian firm, 75 BTC were transferred to Austin as the trustee of IEA and Tudor Trust earlier this year. Under the agreement, Austin was to pay back the amount with each Bitcoin valued at $11,000, a total of $825,000 by July 3rd.

According to another victim, the ex-NBA player resorts to excuses whenever demands for payment are made. Investors in his scheme get neither the principal nor the returns on investment:

He will take your BTC and you will never get your investment back or your returns. On the day of payment, he will tell you story after story filled with lies of issues why the BTC couldn’t be delivered on the day of payment. From him having a heart attack, to the coin being sent to the wrong wallet, to him being in a queue at the bank, to him waiting for trade to conclude, to the funds being held by the bank.

Pay back or we come after you!

The Ghanaian firm that lost $0.825 million has now vowed to take legal action against Austin:

If payment is not made within the next 48 hours, we reserve the right to take any legal action necessary to recover the full amount without further notice to you.

Compared to other Bitcoin fraudsters who have been brutally tortured and killed, Austin should consider himself lucky.

Austin’s NBA career  lasted between 1991 and 2002. Some of the NBA teams that the 6’10” tall ex-basketball star played for include Utah Jazz, Miami Heat, LA Clippers, Orlando Magic and Washington Wizards. Austin also played for Turkish and Chinese basketball teams.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.