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Report: Jordan subpoenaed to testify in drug, money-laundering trial

Published Oct. 12, 2005

Michael Jordan has been subpoenaed to testify in a drug and money-laundering trial, according to a published report.

Jordan, the NBA's leading scorer the last six seasons and the floor leader of the two-time champion Chicago Bulls, has been summoned by defense attorneys to testify in the Oct. 19 trial of James "Slim" Bouler, a Union County businessman indicted on drug and money-laundering charges earlier this year, the Gaston Gazette reported today.

James Wyatt, Bouler's lawyer, said he would have no comment and declined to reveal what Jordan may testify about.

Jordan, an avid golfer, was linked to Bouler when federal agents seized a $57,000 check from Bouler's Monroe bank account. The check was signed by Jordan.

The seizure was part of the FBI's attempt to establish ties between Bouler and a convicted Charlotte drug kingpin, the newspaper reported.

Jordan and Bouler say the cashier's check, dated Oct. 17, 1991, was a loan to help Bouler purchase land for a driving range in Union County.

Federal officials claim the check satisfied a gambling debt.

An investigation by the NBA was prompted by the discovery of photocopies of two checks apparently written by Jordan that turned up in the estate of Gastonia bondsman Eddie Dow. Dow was shot to death outside his home Feb. 19 in what officials said was an incident unrelated to the federal investigation.

Stephen Gheen, the attorney for Dow's estate, said the checks were written to pay off gambling debts.

NBA officials exonerated Jordan of any wrongdoing.

Around the league

Bullets-Clippers trade: The Washington Bullets traded disgruntled forward John Williams to the Los Angeles Clippers for forward Don MacLean and center William Bedford. Williams, who earlier in the day failed to report to Washington's training camp for a third straight year, was placed on the suspended list last season after he ballooned to almost 300 pounds and could not pass a physical.

76ers: Philadelphia, hamstrung by the NBA salary cap, signed first-round draft choice Clarence Weatherspoon, a 6-foot-6 forward from Southern Mississippi, to a seven-year contract only after agreeing to allow him to leave for more money in the years ahead. The 76ers also traded forward Jayson Williams to the New Jersey Nets for a conditional first-round draft pick or two second-rounders, freeing his $650,000 salary.

Suns: Phoenix signed first-round draft pick Oliver Miller, squeezing the 6-foot-9 Arkansas center's $500,000 salary under its salary cap because guard Kevin Johnson was willing to restructure his contract.

Warriors: Golden State signed first-round draft pick Latrell Sprewell, a 6-foot-5 guard from Alabama, to a four-year contract. The Warriors also signed forward Jud Buechler, a restricted free agent, to a two-year deal.

Cavaliers: Cleveland signed former New York Knicks guard Gerald Wilkins to a multiyear contract.

Heat: Forward Keith Askins and guards Kevin Edwards and George Ackles signed contracts.