An Adidas executive, agent among the 8 indicted

Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Joon H. Kim, speaks at a press conference after announcing the arrest of four assistant basketball coaches from Arizona, Auburn, of the University of Southern California and the State of Oklahoma for federal corruption on Tuesday, September 7.  26, 2017, in New York City.  (AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews)

New York grand jury returned indictments for two of the men accused of conspiracy to channel money to the families of two University of Louisville basketball rookies in a federal investigation into college basketball recruiting.

Adidas executive James Gatto and sports agent Christian Dawkins were among eight people indicted in three separate indictments filed Tuesday in the Southern District of New York, according to court records provided to the Courier Journal late Tuesday night.

The eight men face charges related to the investigation unveiled by federal investigators in late September, which alleges bribes and corruption in college basketball recruitment involving coaches, agents, players and their families, as well as clothing company executives.

Following:Indictments filed against Chuck Person and Rashan Michel in FBI college basketball investigation

In addition to Gatto and Dawkins, four assistant basketball coaches have been indicted in the indictments: Arizona assistant coach Emmanuel “Book” Richardson, Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person, Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans and University of Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland.

Rashan Michel, a clothing company owner and former NCAA official, and Adidas Merl Code consultant were also charged on Tuesday.

The eight men had previously been arrested in connection with the investigation and initially charged with a combination of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

Two other men who were originally charged – financial adviser Munish Sood and Florida youth coach Jonathan Brad Augustine – were not charged in any of the three indictments on Tuesday, but were identified by the Courier Journal as anonymous co-conspirators in the documents.

Courier Journal reported last week that the two may be close to reaching a deal with prosecutors over the investigation, citing court records and discussions with lawyers. It is not known whether they are facing charges.

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Bland’s attorney, Jeffrey Lichtman, was the only attorney to respond to the Courier Journal late Tuesday night, upholding the indictment and saying his client “did not commit any crime and we are confident that a jury will agree that this case is at the worst of legal proceedings “.

“We strongly believe that the conduct alleged in the indictment does not constitute a felony and that Tony Bland, a hardworking and well-known assistant coach, is the scapegoat for all the evils of college basketball – all because of of an alleged payment of $ 13,000, “Lichtman said. “No multi-millionaire head coach has been charged, nor any multi-billion dollar sneaker company after years of investigation.”

Dawkins, Augustine, and Sood were arrested over their alleged roles in a scheme to bribe high school applicants and their families to attend specific colleges and later sign with Adidas and certain counselors, including Dawkins and Sood, when they go pro.

In a complaint, the FBI said it recorded an anonymous Louisville assistant coach – identified as “Coach 1“- conspiring with a sports agent and others to funnel money to a rookie’s family.

Courier Journal identified former men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino as another Louisville coach – nicknamed “Coach 2” – in the federal complaint. This trainer allegedly spoke on the phone with Gatto about channeling the money to a recruit.

Pitino confirmed he had phone calls with Gatto but said he was a former Louisville player Terry Rozier’s contract with the clothing company. Rozier now plays for the Boston Celtics.

One of those prospects was Brian Bowen, a five-star rookie who ended up signing with Louisville. Bowen, now a freshman at Louisville, has been suspended from the team for an indefinite period following the allegations. Another prospect, labeled Player 11 in the FBI complaint, was a top 10 player competing on Augustine’s AAU team.

In indictments released Tuesday, investigators name the University of Louisville. The complaints previously stated that the school was University 6.

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The documents describe an anonymous co-conspirator as a “registered investment advisor and founder of an investment services firm in New Jersey.” This description matches Sood.

The description of another anonymous co-conspirator and the dates and actions mentioned in the indictment match details related to Augustine in the original criminal complaint.

An anonymous cooperating witness is described as someone who ran “a business management company that primarily served professional athletes.” This description matches Pittsburgh-area financial adviser Marty Blazer, who has previously been identified as a cooperating witness in the FBI case.

After the investigation was made public, Louisville fired Pitino, Assistant Coach Jordan Fair, and athletic director Tom Jurich. Associate head coach Kenny Johnson has been suspended and remains on paid leave as of Tuesday. Bowen is seeking reinstatement after his lawyer said federal Courier Journal authorities allowed the university to conduct its own investigation.

Charges, according to the indictments:

Jim gatto

  • Conspiracy to commit electronic fraud

Lamont Evans

  • Conspiracy to commit an act of corruption
  • Solicitation of bribes and gratuities by an agent of a federally funded organization
  • Conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud
  • Honest Service Wire Fraud
  • Electronic fraud conspiracy
  • Travel document conspiracy

Emmanuel Richardson

  • Conspiracy to commit an act of corruption
  • Solicitation of bribes and gratuities by an agent of a federally funded organization
  • Conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud
  • Electronic fraud conspiracy
  • Travel document conspiracy

Anthony bland

  • Conspiracy to commit an act of corruption
  • Conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud
  • Electronic fraud conspiracy
  • Travel document conspiracy

Christian dawkins

  • Conspiracy to commit electronic fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit an act of corruption
  • Payments of bribes and gratuities to an agent of a federally funded organization
  • Conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud
  • Electronic fraud conspiracy
  • Travel document conspiracy

Merl code

  • Conspiracy to commit electronic fraud
  • Conspiracy to commit an act of corruption
  • Payments of bribes and gratuities to an agent of a federally funded organization
  • Conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud
  • Travel document conspiracy

Chuck person

  • Conspiracy to commit an act of corruption
  • Solicitation of bribes and gratuities by an agent of a federally funded organization
  • Conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud
  • Honest Service Wire Fraud
  • Electronic fraud conspiracy
  • Travel document conspiracy

Rashan Michel

  • Conspiracy to commit an act of corruption
  • Conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud
  • Honest Service Wire Fraud
  • Electronic fraud conspiracy
  • Travel document conspiracy


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