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NBA Betting Scandal: Two More Arrested, Details Emerge on Conspiracy Involving Former Raptors Player

On Thursday morning, the US Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York announced that two more individuals were arrested and arraigned in connection with the NBA sports betting scandal.

NBA Betting Scandal: Two More Arrested, Details Emerge on Conspiracy Involving Former Raptors Player

This brings the total number of conspirators arrested to three, with one still remaining at large. Timothy McCormack and Mahmud Mollah were both released on $50,000 bond on Thursday morning after being questioned by federal investigators as early as May 30, according to the complaint.

 

The complaint alleges that both individuals placed bets on games involving former Toronto Raptor Jontay Porter, who would remove himself from games early to ensure certain prop bets would pay off. Although Porter is not directly named in the complaint, it references an NBA player who was banned for life. NBA commissioner Adam Silver issued Porter a lifetime ban in April, making him the only player in the league to be banned for betting thus far. Porter was found to have bet on Raptors games and shared personal health information with his co-conspirators.

 

On Monday, June 3, Long Phi Pham, the lead character in the scandal, was arrested at JFK airport while attempting to board a plane to Australia. Pham was released on $750,000 bond. All three defendants appeared in US District Court for the Eastern District of New York this week. According to the complaint, four individuals besides Porter were involved in the NBA betting scandal, and federal agents are still pursuing the fourth suspect. The betting took place on games either on January 26 or March 20, during which Porter removed himself early. The complaint states that McCormack allegedly cashed a $7,000 bet on the January 26 game, making a $33,250 profit, and placed an $8,000 bet on Porter’s "under" for the March 20 game, making a $36,000 profit. Mollah reportedly made five "under" bets on the March 20 game, winning $1.13 million.


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The suspects allegedly wagered with legal operators referred to as "co-official sports betting partners of the NBA," specifically DraftKings and FanDuel. DraftKings had previously reported suspicious activity to the NBA following the March 20 game. According to the complaint, DraftKings and FanDuel both reported suspicious activity to the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA), which then passed the information to the FBI. Mollah’s account was suspended by either DraftKings or FanDuel after the March 20 bet. On April 10, Mollah sent a text to one of the suspects stating, "I really need you to hound [Betting Company 1]. At least get me back my principle $."

 

Thursday’s arrests added to a difficult week for the sports betting industry. News broke on Monday that five Major League Baseball players were being investigated for violating league betting rules. By Tuesday, San Diego Padres shortstop Tucupita Marcano was banned for life. Additionally, on Tuesday, Ippei Mizuhara pled guilty to stealing nearly $17 million from baseball star Shohei Ohtani to pay off illegal gambling debts. Mizuhara, Ohtani’s ex-interpreter, faces up to 33 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine. Immediately after the plea was entered, MLB exonerated Ohtani of any involvement.

By fLEXI tEAM

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