Man given two years in federal prison for claiming to be son of LA Lakers owner

The Associated Press
Wednesday July 10, 2002

LOS ANGELES — A man who attempted to cash a $161,000 tax refund check payable to Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss was sentenced to two years in federal prison. 

On Monday, U.S. District Judge Christina Snyder ordered Kenneth Reeves, 42, who is free on $25,000 bond, to surrender July 29. His co-defendant, Dwayne Kellum, 38, is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 12. 

Authorities are still trying to determine who stole the state-tax refund check.  

Kellum claimed to be “Jerry Buss Jr.” when he tried to open an account at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter. Reeves opened another account with the brokerage firm and tried to convince employees the refund check was being used to invest in a purported energy company, prosecutors said. 

Employees at the brokerage firm alerted the FBI after determining that Buss did not have a son named Jerry. 

Kellum was convicted in February in another case involving the cashing of stolen checks, including some belonging to a trust set up by the late “My Three Sons” star Fred MacMurray and his wife, actress June Haver MacMurray.