Monday, Nov. 30, 2009 | 9:34 a.m.
The gambling debts of former NBA star Antoine Walker have been negotiated and today at a court hearing Walker made his first payment toward resolving $905,050 owed to three Las Vegas casinos.
Walker forfeited a $135,000 cash bond toward the debt today in Las Vegas Justice Court. Under a deal negotiated with prosecutors, Walker, who faces three felony bad check charges for debts at Red Rock Resort, Planet Hollywood and Caesars Palace, will pay a minimum of $12,835 a month to resolve the remaining $770,050 in debt, said his lawyer, Jonathan Powell.
When the debt is repaid in full, the case will be dismissed, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Bernie Zadrowski. Walker has no prior record. He wasn’t present for the hearing.
Walker played for the Minnesota Timberwolves in 2008. He won a championship in 2006 with the Miami Heat and was a three-time all-star for the Boston Celtics. He is currently unemployed, and the $12,835 figure is contingent upon Walker’s continued unemployment.
If he gains employment, he will repay $21,391 a month over three years.
A complaint charges Walker with three felony counts of passing checks with insufficient funds from July 27, 2008, to Jan. 19 at the three casinos.
The complaint alleges he wrote 10 separate checks for $100,000 each, for gambling markers. Gambling debts in Nevada are handled as bad check cases.
Zadrowski, who heads the bad check diversion unit, said he was pleased with the agreement.
“In our estimation, it’s a very good agreement. He’s forfeited $135,000 cash that he posted for bail – it’s no longer in question, it’s not to ensure his appearance anymore, it is a payment to the victims,” he said.
“This is a good thing for the victim, it’s a good thing for the defendant — it is exactly, in my estimation, what the bad check diversion program was set up for by the legislature and it’s what the legislature had in mind. We are able to work with the defendants to get the victims paid.”
The case is remaining in justice court as part of the agreement. If Walker misses a payment, it will be transferred to district court and set for trial.
Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson warned against a missed payment, saying if Walker failed on his end of the bargain, she would send the case to district court “so quick it will make your head spin.”
A status check on Walker’s progress was set for June 1.