After leaving the Mavericks as the club's all-time leading scorer, pre-Dirk of course, Rolando Blackman has bounced around a bit. He spent a couple of seasons with the Knicks and a couple more playing in Europe before finally retiring to the sidelines. Some of those sidelines were at the American Airlines Center, where he served for a stretch as a Mavs assistant. Others were overseas, where he was an assistant coach to the German and Turkish national teams.
Now, Blackman can add another line to his post-Mavs resume: alleged African gold scammer.
That's the claim in a lawsuit filed Monday in Dallas County District Court by former Cowboy Nathaniel Jones. In the suit, first reported by Courthouse News, Jones says that Blackman and an SMU-trained engineer named David Mureeba convinced the former football player to invest $150,000 in Mureeba's East Africa Power & Energy Uganda Ltd.
The company, despite its name, is based in Dallas in a nondescript office suite at LBJ and Montfort that it seems to share with another Mureeba venture, Global Electro-Comm. International. The companies' shared phone number is disconnected, but East Africa Power & Energy's website describes it as a startup "organized for the purposes of launching a Bio Diesel, Bio-Energy and Bio-Chemical industry in Uganda."
It's also, according to the suit, somehow involved in the gold business, which is what Jones was investing in. His money was supposed to help finance an initiative to airlift gold and other precious metals from Tanzania to Belgium for refining. Jones says that Blackman and Mureeba guaranteed him a four-percent return.
The promised returns never materialized, nor, Jones alleges, did the original $150,000 investment. Silence followed Blackman and Mureeba's May 2012 trip overseas. When Jones made inquiries about his investment four months later, he received only a note from Blackman's attorney insisting that the former Mav had no connection to the supposed gold deal and to please kindly refrain from contacting him or "disparaging or making false statements about Mr. Blackman."
Mureeba was no more helpful. This past January he reportedly told Jones the gold-shipping initiative had become "complicated." When Jones sent a formal demand letter the next month asking for the return of his investment, he received no reply. Hence, the lawsuit.