By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities small business owner said Tuesday a former local NBA star scammed him out of $25,000.

Eric Lero said he restored a car for former Timberwolves player Al Jefferson, but lost thousands in the deal.

When he last played for the Timberwolves two years ago, Jefferson made more than $12 million. But as good as he was on the court, Lero said his intentions at Sub Zero Sounds were just plain bad.

“It was an ’89 Chevy Caprice. The car was worth $2,500 when he brought it in. It was in real bad shape,” said Lero, owner of Sub Zero Sounds in Columbia Heights.

Jefferson wanted Lero and his crew to restore his car. So they went to work, and spent overnights and overtime putting in a new amp rack, center console, doors and even personalized seats for “Big Al” himself.

They even added an X-Box video game system and television that Jefferson wanted. The total cost was $60,000.

“We trimmed it down. We only got half for a down payment and then he wrote two checks at the end and canceled them a week after he gave them to me,” said Lero.

When Lero asked Jefferson’s assistant why the checks were canceled, he said he got a shocking response.

“He told me they never intended to pay us for the job. That’s what he flat-out said to my face,” said Lero.

Lero said Al Jefferson’s assistant offered him $1,500 to never bring it up again. But he refused and took Jefferson to court.

“He was sitting across from my wife and I in court. He was saying, ‘aaahhhh I shouldn’t have to pay for any of that B-S work.’ He was swearing and making comments like that the whole time,” said Lero.

A judge ordered Jefferson to pay Lero $10,000 back in a settlement, which Lero said he used for attorney fees. He thought working with an NBA star would be a slam dunk. Two-and-a-half years later, that’s not the case.

“Someone like us, if I write $25,000 in bad checks I would probably be in jail. I don’t understand how someone like him can get away with this,” said Lero.

Lero said Jefferson never told him why he didn’t pay him the entire amount. He said the situation created financial problems and forced him to move from his location in Brooklyn Park to a smaller shop in Columbia Heights.

Jefferson still has the car, and it remains in storage in Hudson, Wis. Neither he, nor his agent, returned phone calls that were made on Tuesday.

Comments (34)
  1. Victim Du Jour says:

    That car looked embarrassing, like something you would see in a Rebecca Black video or a DB website.

    No wonder he can’t afford to pay child support.

  2. tom says:

    you can take the thug out of the ghetto but you can’t take the ghetto out of the thug

    1. Clinton says:

      I agree 100%

  3. fred says:

    N.B.A…..nothing but a-holes

  4. twin cities says:

    Those cars are always driven by trashy you know whats.
    Fact is, those cars look SO stupid… they don’t even compare to the likes of Audi, BMW…

    I always laugh at those clowns driving their ghettoriders….

  5. Pate says:

    What an ugly,conspicuous car.And what an ugly thug that owns it.Not surprised.

  6. Ed says:

    Who cares about this story
    Sounds like a couple of dumb a-s-s-e-s

  7. v says:

    Moral(s) of the story?
    1) Never trust a thug. No matter how much money he makes.
    2) Don’t sign up for a news story when you’re late on support payments (priceless).
    3) Stop pimping cars. They look (and sound) ridiculous!

  8. Isiah Junior JR Rider says:

    And to think I’ve been blaming T-HUD for all of my life’s problems!!

    Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Maybe WCCO can look in to how much this guy owes the Minnesota Department of Revenue on their next slow news day.

    1. Always ppl talking says:

      This is so funny how ppl have nothen better to do then bash a person who is trying to look out for the adverage person. Regaurdless of what he owes mdr maybe if he got the money that AL owes him he wouldnt did ya think about that. Not to mention Isiah who do you owe?????????

      1. Get a life says:

        Funny thing is you must have cob webs you weak person . Read the story and stop acting immature. You are a sad excuse of a person and should call gerry springer.

  9. Riley says:

    opinions are like a-holes everyones got one. i love how this has become a platform for baby mama drama…if its even true. the focus is still the fact that subzero was hired to do work and when it came time to pay up al jefferson didnt keep up his end of the deal. why come in and waste the shops time?

  10. The Truth says:

    Your a bumb ass. Who comes on a wcco comments to hit on a chick. We know these ppl are straight idiots.

  11. Always think your right says:

    Jeff ask your self this question why would Eric pay his Ex wife they are divorced and dont have any children togather? since your so smart. Tell her to mind her own busniess and try to stop being a gold digger for a change. Whats embarassing is how you ppl cant stay on the story.

    1. Get off it says:

      The story is Al jefferson stiffs local business. Kindergarden
      Unless you know what both parties are doing shut up.

  12. lookinthemirrorlero says:

    While I do think big al should be held responsible for this I do think the owner of the business should look in the mirror and ask himself why did all of this happen. You owe people money, you run your company into the ground, you can manage your $$, and you cant see that it all starts with you. Yeah big al is a loser and owes you money but your problems all start with yourself Lero, and thats the truth. When you start paying the people you owe money to for work done, learn how to manage money on your own, respect others, and work hard to rebuild your torn reputation (sub zero sounds.) then you have earned the right to complain about how others have wronged you. Until then its starts with the mirror, now go look into it for awhile.

  13. Take the real truth says:

    Lets see 1st incorrect on why Christine luman filed banruptcy i have the bankruptcy papers so if you want to go there lets do it. The house is going in to forecloser because miss christine Luman was awared the house in the divorce and couldnt afford it and didnt make a house payment for a yr. also documented and can produce those. This can go on and on . Dont hate cause your angry bitter that he is doing better. Move on be happy do your own thing. Jail really your so unhappy we know who you all on here making comments so move around and stop harrassing him.

    1. HAHAHA says:

      The court TOLD her not to make payments after the judged kicked Eric out for 1) not putting the house for sale in an allotted 3 months, 2) not paying the insurance and 3) making payments late. HAHAHA

    2. Christine Lero says:

      I just want to let you know, that whomever you were conversing with during this day, was not me Darice. You should be careful of whom you are speaking with since I have many supporters. Which they made you aware of. I spoke my comment on Monday night, and that was it. You dug up a bunch of BS with bunch of people you didn’t even know with whom you were speaking with. Which makes you and idiot. As for threatening me with my banruptcy BS. I have contacted my attorney again. See you in court. Oh, by the way, if you can’t handle the negative feedback, DONT GO ON TV, YOU IDIOTS!!!!

  14. people with problems says:

    Lets go well to start what a person was or wasnt paying is none of your business , you wernt paying it so thats that. 2nd of all affires only happen when the one of the people in a relationship were married so unless you have some proof of when a affair acured then bring it and if so it would have been in the divorce dont you think thats a big allegstion. Your so off base and just again bitter. This is a story about Al Jefferson and sub zero sounds cant you read. Not about eric lero and his gold digger ex wife. further more how many cars were in there? since your so smart and were there. So funny grow up move on its a story not your personal soap opera so lay off and move on.

    1. ??? says:

      Affires? allegestion? Hold on….let me grab my King of Diamonds dictionary here…… oh….now I understand. It’s called undereducated.

  15. The truth says:

    I want to begin by saying that I can only disclose to you the truth. The truth is that Eric John Lero has been in the business of screwing people over for a very very long time. Darice Taylor, now Darice taylor/lero, is now his new wife in which he met while frequenting the King of Diamonds while married to his ex wife Christean. Eric spent obscene amounts of money to meet with darice in a private room at the sleazy strip club for months, while not paying a dime to either his eldest or middle child in support. He also is only claimed to make min wage to the state and federal government. I have been reading the comments of gold digger and how eric supposedly supports his children and is in his kids lives. WOW! As a neutral person I have to say that his ex wife is the farthest thing from a gold digger. Eric actually would have never been successful in any business venture. That his other two daughter s have no idea that he is now married to the stripper and that he has not paid child support sense Dec of 2010. Mind you that again is only min wage child support which averages about 290 a month. So while his Children go without darice is on line ordering coach hand bags, bebe shirts, and designer shoes. All the while eric has the nerve to stand in front of a news camera and say that if he was writing checks for 25000 he would be in jail, well i have new s for you darice, you as well being the new mrs. lero may be the next prison eye candy as he will be also. I truly believe with all my heart and being a former friend of eric s that what he gives he will surly recieve. Darice, you are a sick sick women, who better find your way back to the pole because he wont be there for you to mine for gold any more. And you should probably pay your bill for your boob job because i know there is a judgment for you form the anesthesiologist that you have yet to pay for your new fun bags. In the mean while keep on shopping darice and ripping off the children that were there LONG LONG before you. The only gold digger is DARICE TAYLOR who on a section 8 housing program … only you can find a way to get evicted not once but twice

    1. Darice says:

      I don’t know who posted this but these are untrue and very serious comments you are making. I hope you have a great lawyer because this are false and personally they are damaging accusations against someone who has nothing to do with that marriage or this story . These comments can be traced just would like everyone to know. So be careful of what you say. Being whatever is (that you say) I never have done or taken anything and my personal facts have nothing to do with this story or Erics marriage to Christine which again your facts are not true. I am not sure friend or not now or later that you have the right to attach a innocent person which yes i am in all this. As for Eric his personal life is just that his personal life and if you are all high and mighty why dont you air you own dirty laundry. Every action has a consequence. Good evening and god be with you.

  16. The truth says:

    . You my friend are the Gold digging liar that can make only eric lero s scandalous life whole. Thank the lord for divorce christiean because other wise i would have had to watch you ruin the best days of your life with such a loser as him. Some one call the department of revenue, I smell a rat. Wait as a lost friend of eric’s circle I can see a rat. Eric Lero will be going to prision and i think that as far a darice goes the ladies will like the boobies in the big house. Youll be a hit. Dance lady, dance..

    And that is the trut

  17. great says:

    Ture Adults dont go bashing a person about a story not there personal life and He is a victim when you do a job for someone and have a contract to be paid on it then thats just what should happen. next time you go to for a oil change or work on your car make sure you cancel your check and believe me they will be coming after you for the work they did.

  18. Something missing... says:

    From my experience with the law, if someone writes checks for services paid, and then cancels them after the fact, the courts usually make the person pay all the money back, unless there is something wrong with the person who performed the service (work done was not done to expected standards, what was charged was different than what was quoted, etc.). There seems to be some missing facts to this story.

    Also, $10,000 for attorney fees for a $35,000 lawsuit? And the lawyer got the entire judgement? Something doesn’t add up here…

  19. Rick says:

    First I would like to comment, leave the personel stuff out of this. This has to do with an unpaid bill by a sports figure that kids are suppose to look up to.

    I have had several vehicle worked on at “SUB ZERO” and have never had a problem and Eric Lero has been very professional. He does not let a vehicle out of this shop until it is perfect.

    I hope after the airing of this store on WCCO, he gets his money

    1. Court ruled says:

      I dont know how he would get any more money, since he already took Jefferson to court, and the court ordered Jefferson to pay $10k, which Jefferson must have already paid the judgement since the Eric said he used it all to pay attorney fees. This situation should be over since the court has already ruled on the matter.

  20. nevermind says:

    eric wake up man the only reason u did this is that gold digging pole humper you are with, she doesnt care about you or your kids from what i hear she has given you the choice either the kids you allready had b4 her, or her queen pole and the future pole dancing goldiggers, the choice should be easy man stick with your kids if she loved you she wouldnt do that to u, you would have never done the story she is just getting you in more trouble than u know, get rid of her while u have the chance and go back to living life b4 its too late.

  21. Huh? says:

    A 1989 Chevy Caprice worth $2500 in “really bad shape”? WHAT PLANET IS THAT GUY LIVING ON? A completely cherry 1989 Chevy Caprice might not be worth $2500.

  22. Barry says:

    After reading the comments posted by the people associating with Eric Lero I think this whole thing could be a misunderstanding at the bank… I mean, maybe they didn’t feel comfortable cashing a check with only an X on the endorsement line. I’ve never had more trouble trying to understand a message written in English before… I imagine there are 3rd graders that could form better sentences than these clowns. Entertaining stuff though! I was like reading an episode of Jerry Springer.

  23. david says:

    Put the bum in jai. So many bums in the NBA.l.

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