The co-owner of a minor league basketball team accused of swindling his partners out of thousands of dollars is being held in the Forsyth County Detention Center on $600,000 bond.
Quentin Townsend, 32, of Snellville, was arrested Friday and charged with theft by deception, said Forsyth County Sheriff's Capt. Frank Huggins.
Townsend, along with Carter Patterson and Brian Richey, owns the Atlanta Vision, a Duluth-based team competing in the American Basketball Association. Townsend is also president and chief operating officer of the association.
Patterson and Richey, operating as Jayhawk Sports, filed a lawsuit in September against Townsend. Their attorney, Alan Briskin, said the complaint was filed because Townsend allegedly cheated them out of $100,000 each.
Briskin said Townsend solicited the funds from his partners in an effort to get a team into the NBA Development League, also known as the D-League.
Townsend produced a false letter to prove the NBA was interested in starting a franchise in Atlanta, Briskin said. Jayhawk Sports operates out of Forsyth County.
"The actual underlying crime occurred in Forsyth," he said.
Briskin is not involved in the criminal case against Townsend, but said his clients contacted the sheriff's office before they filed the lawsuit.
According to information published on the American Basketball Association's Web site, the organization named Townsend its president and chief operating officer in April.
The association posted a notice Wednesday saying that Townsend has been suspended and relieved of all duties pending the outcome of the charges against him.
Joe Newman, the association's CEO, released a statement saying the suspension is in the best interest of the league.
"We will not comment on the allegations and will leave it to the judicial system to determine his guilt or innocence," he said. "Quentin has been an excellent president and team owner and we hope for a positive result."