NCAA basketball coaches among 10 charged with fraud, corruption

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Four assistant basketball coaches from Arizona, Auburn, Oklahoma State and Southern California were charged Tuesday morning in a federal corruption investigation, and that might be only the tip of the iceberg in a three-year FBI probe that focused on coaches being paid tens of thousands of dollars to steer NBA-bound players toward sports agents, financial advisors and apparel companies.
Federal prosecutors in New York announced charges of fraud and corruption against 10 people, including Auburn’s Chuck Person, Oklahoma State’s Lamont Evans, Arizona’s Emanuel “Book” Richardson and USC’s Tony Bland.
Each of the coaches is charged with bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes, honest services fraud conspiracy, honest service fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and Travel Act conspiracy. The U.S. Department of Justice said each of the coaches faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in prison.
Person was released on $25,000 bail. Bland appeared in a Florida court, did not enter a plea and said he needs a lawyer. Prosecutors recommended Bland be released on $100,000 bail with the understanding he must appear Oct. 10 in federal court in New York for another hearing. Richardson appeared in U.S. District Court in Tucson, Arizona, and was released on a $50,000 bond.
The FBI also arrested James Gatto, director of global sports marketing for Adidas; Merl Code, another Adidas employee; Christian Dawkins, a former NBA agent who was recently fired from ASM Sports; Munish Sood, a financial adviser; Jonathan Brad Augustine, president of The League Initiative and programme director of the Adidas-sponsored 1 Family AAU programme; and Rashan Michel, a former NBA official who founded Thompson Bespoke Clothing, a custom clothier for athletes.
The offices of ASM, which represents NBA players, were raided Tuesday, sources confirmed. Phone lines have been cut off and employees were told not to come to work. (www.espn.com)
 

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