Former Gophers basketball star and NBA player Sam Jacobson and his wife are charged with felonies involving the sale of his Apple Valley home.
Sam and Traci Jacobson were charged in Dakota County District Court last week with theft by false representation and theft by swindle in connection with the August 2011 sale to Traci Jacobson, who was Traci Quam and his live-in girlfriend at the time.
The transaction was a “short sale,” meaning the house was worth less than what Sam Jacobson owed on it, forcing the lender to eat the loss.
In an effort to keep the home from falling into foreclosure, the short sale deal was approved by lender JPMorgan Chase after Jacobson told the company he had filed for bankruptcy, the charges read.
That sale to Quam barred him from remaining in the five-bedroom Gibralter Terrace home and included an “arm’s length” condition that required the buyer and seller to be “unrelated parties ... acting in his or her own self-interest.”
However, investigators say, Jacobson and his three children did not move out after the sale to Quam.
Quam quickly sold the home in late 2011 for $538,000, netting “a significant profit” of $176,000, according to the charges.
Quam then rolled the profit into another house, in the 15700 block of Cobblestone Lake Parkway in Apple Valley, and became engaged to Jacobson on the day that transaction closed. The two were married in June 2013, and they still live in the Cobblestone Lake Parkway home.
The situation came to the attention of authorities from his ex-wife, Jennifer Jacobson, according to the charges.
Sam and Traci Jacobson are charged by summons. Telephone and e-mail messages were left Wednesday with Sam Jacobson. His attorney, Ryan Garry, said that “Sam is wonderful father and role model in his community, and he committed no crime whatsoever.”
Traci Jacobson referred questions to her attorney, Patrick Cotter, who said that the Jacobsons “are excellent members of their community. I am confident that there was no criminal intent [as] alleged in this criminal complaint.”
Jacobson starred in high school at Park of Cottage Grove, was honored as Mr. Basketball in 1994 and played four seasons for the Gophers in the mid- to late 1990s. He ranks fourth in school history in points scored in a career. In 1997-98, he averaged a career-high 18.2 points per game.
In 1996-97, he helped Minnesota reach the Final Four. However, that season was wiped off the books because of an academic cheating scandal under head coach Clem Haskins.
The Lakers chose Jacobson in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft. His 68-game NBA career included 49 with Golden State and ended in 2001 with 14 games with his hometown Timberwolves. His NBA earnings totaled slightly more than $2 million.
He last played professionally in Italy in 2007.