Â© Copyright 2008, The Oklahoman
Former Sooner basketball star Eduardo Najera says he is a lot less trusting these days since losing more than $230,000 helping an Oklahoma landscaper he once considered a friend.
Najera, an NBA player who has a home in Edmond, alleges in a lawsuit he is the victim of a scam.
"Thank God, I'm making a lot of money,” said Najera, who moved in July from the Denver Nuggets to the New Jersey Nets.
"I don't know where the money went,” Najera said Friday. "Now, the sad thing is that it is really hard for me to trust — in terms of business — it's hard for me to trust different people. They have great opportunities out there. Because of this experience, I might say no to all their business opportunities.”
Najera and his wife, Jennifer, on Aug. 14 won a $232,763 judgment against the landscaper's business after no one responded to their lawsuit.
Others also have made accusations and won judgments in court against the landscaper, Jeffrey James Sanders, or his business, Landscapes Unlimited of Oklahoma.
One group of investors alleged Sanders misused their funds to pay other creditors. They have won a $135,587 judgment against him, plus another $18,311 in attorney fees.
Sanders, 40, of Edmond has admitted in bankruptcy court he owes almost $1.75 million to Najera and more than two dozen others.
His attorney in the bankruptcy case quit because Sanders didn't pay him.
Sanders pleaded guilty to arson in Texas in 2004. He was charged in 2006 in Oklahoma County with making false statements on a credit application. The misdemeanor charge was dropped after he made restitution, his attorney, Scott Adams, said.
Denying the allegations
In a brief phone conversation, Sanders denied he conned anyone who lost money.