U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman imposed the sentence on Joseph Lombardo after rejecting defense arguments that his crime didn't constitute fraud because there was no financial harm to the National Basketball Players Association.
, 73, of Gates Mills, Ohio, pleaded guilty last year to charges of mail fraud and hindering the investigation by lying to a grand jury.
The founder and former chief executive of Prim Capital Corp.
told the judge on Tuesday that he
regretted "stupid, arrogant and criminal acts" that left a successful career in ruins.
"There's no excuse for what I did," he
"I should have known better."
had managed up to $250 million of the union's assets, reviewed individual players' investments and conducted financial seminars for players for more than a decade.
Fearing that the union was seeking to fire the firm amid a federal probe of its finances, Lombardo concocted a contract in 2013 that demanded more than $3 million in fees for five years, prohibited cancellation and had the signature of the union's general counsel, Gary Hall.
admitted a "Gary A. Hall" signature stamp was used to falsify the document.
A recording had captured Lombardo
coaching on how to mislead investigators to cover their tracks, prosecutors said.
was ordered to begin serving his
prison term by July 25.