Paralyzed Ex-Baller Covered Up Sex Club Shooting

Sam Stanton of the SACRAMENTO BEE has the strange, sad tale of former Virginia Union basketball player and Sacramento prison guard John Smiley.

John Smiley former Virginia Union and Fork Union Hoops Player

(Smiley also played for Fork Union prep in the ’80s)

Smiley, now paralyzed from the waist down and unable to walk, appeared in court this week along with wife Cynthia Ann Biasi-Smiley to face five felony charges relating to fraudulent workers’ compensation claims.

Stanton’s background:

He (Smiley) was at a San Francisco restaurant with his wife when a parolee recognized him, then gunned him down with a shot that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Unable to work, the 44-year-old Smiley filed a workers’ compensation claim that could have paid him and his wife nearly $2.5 million.

Except investigators say that isn’t exactly how Smiley ended up getting shot.

Instead, court records say, the altercation that led to his paralysis started at a swingers club, where he and his wife were engaging in sex with strangers and a dispute quickly escalated.

Smiley told San Francisco police that while at the sex club with his wife, he had intercourse with another man’s wife and his condom broke. When the man found out, he shot Smiley in the back, causing paralysis.

Stanton has the sordid details:

The Smileys arrived at midnight after discovering the club on the Internet, court records say. Soon they met another couple, court records state, and eventually began to have sex with them.

But at some point Smiley’s condom broke while he was having sex with the woman, and her companion became angry, court records state.

“I kill people for a living,” the man allegedly told Smiley.

The Smileys left and began walking to their car when Smiley heard another car pull up and the man from the club emerged with a gun, court records state. The pair began to run and Smiley was shot in the back.

Along with initially lying about the cause of his condition to the California Department of Corrections in an attempt to collect $2.5M in taxpayer-funded claims, the former hoops “star” has persuaded strangers to donate money to him through a website that details his unfortunate condition. Though the website never mentions the sex club shooting or any details of how he incurred his paralysis.

Stanton :

Some people who e-mailed or posted comments online to The Bee after the Smiley story was first reported Tuesday indicated they had donated to his cause but knew nothing about the sex-club allegations.

The Web site,, contains updates about his medical costs, provides information on how to donate money and indicates that the second annual John Smiley Golf Tournament at The Reserve at Spanos Park in Stockton raised $11,000.

It was held Nov. 6, about two weeks before the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation opened a criminal investigation into his claims. Before that, the state had been working to reach a settlement of his claim, records indicate.

The Web site describes how “as a decorated Corrections officer in California his size helped him safely transport dangerous inmates, quell large riots, and prevent escapes.”

In a section titled “John’s story, in his own words,” Smiley recounts spending April 26, 2008, in San Francisco at the zoo with his wife and two children and his in-laws.

“This wonderful afternoon was followed by a great dinner and an announcement that the grandparents would watch the kids so Cindy and I could have a long overdue night out together,” he wrote. “Of course, I had no idea that our lives would change forever on that day.”

The site does not mention the alleged visit to Twist, a sex club that Smiley later told investigators he had found out about on the Internet, court records indicate.

In case you’re wondering about Smiley’s defense in this court case, well, there really isn’t one - thanks to a San Francisco Police Dept. report from the night of the incident:

San Francisco police arrived at 2:24 a.m. and the Smileys told them what had happened inside the club and after, court records state.

Smiley also told the police he didn’t want to tell them “about the swingers club and hoped it would not get back to his department,” court records say.

The state denied the claim last July, but Smiley continued pursuing it. Last October, attorneys from both sides discussed a request from Smiley’s attorney for a $2 million settlement, court records say. At one point, the attorney indicated the claim was worth an $8 million settlement, court records say.