Carlos Boozer has filed a lawsuit in Miami claiming that $1 million the Chicago Bulls forward invested was “maliciously” wasted by an investment company run by Claudio and Amarilis Osorio.
The suit alleges the Osorios lied to Boozer and others, duping celebrities into investing ‘‘to fund their lavish and extravagant lifestyle.’’ It also alleges that Osorio misrepresented himself as having a ‘‘wildly successful business track record’’ and claiming InnoVida was ‘‘revolutionizing the construction industry.’’
Boozer and his former wife, Cindy, say the Osorios promised 1,000 percent returns from projects that benefitted disaster-stricken areas.
Stories of athletes parting with their money is nothing new, though sadly, we seem to be hearing about them more often. Which makes it so much more confounding when a new story pops up. For anyone to get close to an athlete or celebrity with a seven-figure business proposal takes charisma and salesmanship.
But at a time when you have high-profile cases like the New York Mets being duped by Bernard Madoff, it would seem wise to investigate any “too good to be true” offers even more closely. Tales of a 1,000 percent return on investment? That definitely seems too great to be true. Especially when it’s with a company that has 14 known lawsuits and a lien on operating assets going against it.
Instead, Boozer has become another cautionary tale of an athlete or celebrity who has been preyed upon. Hopefully others around the NFL and NBA are watching because with the specter of protracted work stoppages hanging over those players, being especially careful with your money is going to be the most valuable skill of all.