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Ex-NBA player rep admits to income tax evasion, mortgage fraud

A Silver Spring man who has represented an NBA All-Star and is a partner in a growing urban clothing line now faces up to 10 years in prison for cheating the government out of more than $1 million in income taxes and providing false information on mortgage loans over the last nine years.

Nathan A. Peake, 40, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of income tax evasion and one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. The plea was part of an agreement in which, for pleading guilty, additional charges of tax evasion, fraud, obstruction of justice and identity theft were dropped.

Peake faces five years in prison on each count as well as a minimum total of $500,000 in fines. According to sentencing guidelines filed by prosecutors, the range for Peake is 41 to 51 months.

A sentencing hearing has been set for Aug. 2 and a pre-sentence investigation was ordered.

Peake is the founder of Peake Management Group Inc., a sports management firm based in Washington, D.C. Since founding the firm, the company has represented pro basketball players, including three-time NBA All-Star and University of Maryland standout Steve Francis who played for the Houston Rockets, Orlando Magic and for the New York Knicks. On Friday, a representative for Francis reached at the Steve Francis Foundation said Peake does not represent him anymore.

Peake also founded Peake Management Group Boxing. He is a partner in We R One Gear, an urban apparel company based in Suitland.

Attempts to reach Peake were unsuccessful and he remains out on bond until his sentencing hearing.

According to court records, Peake did not file income tax returns from 2000 through 2007. During that time he had collected an estimated $5.8 million in management and agent fees, which he spread out among other personal accounts of his and commercial accounts that he controlled.

He also misappropriated a $3.5 million commercial line of credit that one of his athlete clients, unnamed in court records, personally guaranteed. The athlete eventually had to pay the full amount when Peake did not make payments.

Peake was originally indicted in October along with Gregory L. McCormick, 56. McCormick and Peake were charged with fraud involving four mortgages Peake obtained for two properties over a nine-year period. As part of his plea agreement, Peake signed off on a document spelling out how he defrauded banks over mortgages for the properties, including his home on Firestone Drive in Silver Spring.

According to state tax records the home is a 6,101-square-foot residence located near the Hampshire Greens Golf Course. The property is valued at $1.06 million, and is currently in foreclosure.

To buy the property, along with a rental property in Mitchellville, and refinancing the mortgages, Peake said he and McCormick gave false information to several lenders over how much Peake was paid along with what he earned in rental income. He also fabricated letters falsely claiming to have filed income tax returns and provided wage figures he said had been reviewed by a certified public accountant.

McCormick is facing charges of obstruction of justice, aggravated identity theft as well as bank and wire fraud. He is still awaiting trial.