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Clippers commentator to be arraigned on grand theft charges in Orange County

January 6, 2010 |  9:22 pm
Los Angeles Clippers commentator Michael Smith is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Orange County Superior Court on charges of stealing $735,000 from a retired schoolteacher in a development deal gone bad, authorities said.

Smith, 44, and Bruce Howard Furst, 57, both of Laguna Beach, are charged with grand theft in connection with the Dana Point project, the Orange County district attorney's office said.

Smith persuaded the former teacher, who has an inoperable brain tumor, to use his paid-off Dana Point home as collateral for the $735,000 loan on the project, according to prosecutors.

Smith and Furst are accused of promising the victim that his loan was guaranteed. The project never materialized, prosecutors said.

The 65-year-old victim, identified only as William S., is expected to lose his home.

The arraignment is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Santa Ana courthouse.

-- Robert J. Lopez