Former NBA player pleads guilty to hijacking upscale AZ home
Story by CBS News
PARADISE VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) - He was a star player in the NBA, making millions of dollars.
But now Chris Gatling will be sentenced next month for hijacking an upscale Paradise Valley home, then trying to rent it out.
Gatling played with eight different NBA teams and once averaged 19 points a game, but now Gatling's making headlines for something else.
The retired NBA All-Star pleaded guilty to felony forgery and theft charges.
A police report states that the NBA All-Star moved into a Paradise Valley home without the owner's permission, which would make Gatling a "squatter."
Gatling is accused of breaking into a key box, then setting up house and living in the home for more than a year, from July 2010 to August 2011.
The homeowners lived in California and had left the home furnished with the power on, according to the report.
However, this strange story doesn't stop there.
Investigators believe Gatling wanted to make some money, so he reportedly put an ad on CraigsList to rent the place out.
The ad stated, "$800 - 4 bedroom Ex-NBA - Paradise Valley Home for rent with pool and utilities included."
Court records indicate that Gatling took a down payment from one potential renter, but another renter got suspicious and found the real owners over the internet, then contacted police.
CBS 5 News reached out to Gatling's attorney, Michael Alarid, at the time of his arrest.
"This is all a misunderstanding," said Alarid. "We're hopeful that we can resolve everything as soon as possible."
The report said that Gatling also listed the Paradise Valley address on his driver's license.
The former NBA star is also accused of forging some personal checks from his ex-girlfriend, and funneling the money through College Bound All-Stars, a traveling youth basketball league that Gatling managed and operated.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 4.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
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