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Clippers Announcer Charged With Criminal Theft

Clippers announcer Mike Smith (right) pictured with Ralph Lawler. AP Photo/Jeff Lewis
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Clippers television commentator Mike Smith and a business partner has been charged by the Orange County District Attorney for criminal theft for allegedly conning a retired school teacher to put up his paid-off home as collateral for a failed $735,000 loan for a failed development project.

Smith and his accomplice Bruce Howard Furst will be arraigned on Thursday for one felony count of grand theft with sentencing enhancements for losses over $100,000 and property damage over $200,000. Smith was golfing buddies with the 65-year old victim who has an inoperable brain tumor.

The fraud allegedly took place January 2008 when Smith repeatedly tried to convince the victim to invest in the Dana Point project. After refusing repeatedly, the victim finally relented putting his home up for collateral after being assured the loan was safe and fully guaranteed by Smith.

Of course the economy took a nose dive, and the project failed.

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The victim was left with a $7,200 monthly mortgage payment which Smith and Furst had promised to pay. Unable to pay the mortgage, the victim is expected to lose his home.

Smith's attorney Dyke Huish says Smith had been working to pay back the money to the victim.