Basketball star Shane Heal charged with fraud

Australian basketball champion and former Minnesota Timberwolves and San Antonio Spurs player Shane Heal has been charged with three count of fraud relating to an alleged $750,000 scam. 

Shane Heal represented Australia at four Olympic Games. Photo: Tim Clayton
Shane Heal represented Australia at four Olympic Games. Photo: Tim Clayton

Mr Heal, famed Australian Boomers point guard known for his bleached-blonde hair, appeared in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday for a preliminary hearing. He did not enter a plea. The matter was adjourned for further mention and Mr Heal has been released on bail.

The charges were laid after an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. 

ASIC alleges Mr Heal dishonestly gained a benefit of $250,000 from an investor in Mr Heal's company Shyfox Pty Ltd in 2008. 

Mr Heal, a former bankrupt, is also accused of dishonestly gaining a benefit of $250,000 in 2009 from an investor in his company Cre8ive Constructions Queensland. 

The third charge related to Mr Heal allegedly dishonestly gaining a benefit of $250,000 in 2010 from an investor in another company run by Mr Heal, 23 Investments. 

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions is prosecuting the matter.

The three companies relating to the alleged fraud have all been deregistered. 

Mr Heal represented the Australian Boomers at the 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games. He was captain of the Boomers in 2004. 

His career included two stints playing National Basketball Association teams in the US. First for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1996-1997 season and the San Antonio Spurs in the 2003-2004 season. 

Since his retirement, Mr Heal has tried to make a fist of coaching basketball including stints at Sydney Kings and the Wellington Saints. 

He was also the coach and director of Women's National Basketball League team South East Queensland Stars until February this year when he was sacked as part of a last-gasp financial rescue package for the struggling team.

Despite the deal, the Stars did not survive its financial problems. There is no suggestion the financial problems of the Stars is in any way linked to Mr Heal's alleged fraud. 

In August the Organised Crime Investigation Unit of the Queensland Police Service ended its investigation into bets Mr Heal had allegedly made on the Stars while he was coach after deciding to lay no charges.

Mr Heal at the time said the dropped investigation had proved his innocence.  

A receiver was appointed to Shyfox in early 2012 and the company in April 2013.

Cre8ive Constructions was deregistered in February 2014, while a liquidator was appointed to 23 Investments in March 2012 and the company deregistered in October that year. 

Mr Heal's business ventures have also kept him busy in his post-basketball years and at one point claimed his businesses employed more than 300 people. 

However, in December 2011 he was declared bankrupt with $10 in his account and reportedly more than $8 million owed to creditors. 

In 2014 during public examinations relating to his bankruptcy it was revealed Mr Heal had received money from current NBA coach Brett Brown and former Boomers' forward and teammate Matt Nielsen among others in his failed ventures.

His bankruptcy was discharged in 2015 after the withdrawal of two applications to have his bankruptcy extended beyond the standard three-year period due to his alleged failure to disclose a property in which he held an interest and alleged failure to declare income.

smh.com.au

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