FBI arrests four college basketball assistants on charges of fraud

(USA TODAY) -- Four NCAA assistant basketball coaches were indicted in a fraud and corruption scheme  — which also included managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major international sportswear company — by federal authorities on Tuesday.

According to the FBI complaints made public, the four coaches involved are Auburn assistant Chuck Person, Southern California assistant Tony Bland, Arizona assistant Emanuel Richardson and Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans.

They were among 10 people facing federal charges in New York's U.S. District Court. Further details will be discussed at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.

Messages made by USA TODAY Sports to the NCAA on Tuesday morning were not immediately returned.

Court documents reveal that the FBI and U.S. Attorney have been investigating the matter since 2015. The investigation revealed numerous instances of bribes being offered to potential student-athletes.

The six others named on court documents included: James Gatto (director of global sports marketing at Adidas), Merl Code (recently left Nike for Adidas), Christian Dawkins (NBA agent who was recently fired from ASM Sports for charging approximately $42,000 in Uber charges on a player's credit card), Jonathan Brad Augustine (president of The League Initiative and program director of the Adidas-sponsored 1 Family AAU program), Munish Sood (a financial adviser), and Rishan Michel (former NBA official who founded Thompson Bespoke Clothing line).


Adidas issued the following statement, in reference to Gatto: "Today, we became aware that federal investigators arrested an Adidas employee. We are learning more about the situation. We're unaware of any misconduct and will fully cooperate with authorities to understand more."

Names of specific schools involved were not named, only being referred to as University 3 and University 6 — with numerals. One of the schools was in the state of Kentucky and one of the schools was in the state of Florida.

It appears, according to a part of the complaint, UofL fits the description of the Kentucky school involved in this scheme.

Here is that part of the complaint:

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University 1 was identified as Auburn, where Person was employed as an associate head coach and where he had previously played college basketball.

The FBI alleges in one complaint unsealed Tuesday that “Person abused his coaching position (at Auburn) to solicit or obtain bribe payments” from a financial advisor for professional athletes. That financial advisor, who was not named in the indictment, was working with law enforcement as part of the investigation unbeknownst to Person and the other defendants.

Over a 10-month period, the financial advisor allegedly paid about $91,500 in bribes to Person in exchange change for Person “agreeing to direct certain (Auburn) basketball players to retain the services (of the financial advisor) when those student-athletes entered the NBA.”

​Click here to see the full complaint. 

© 2017 USATODAY.COM


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