Banned NBA player Jontay Porter charged with federal crime

NEW YORK — Former Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter will be charged with a federal crime related to the sports betting scandal that led to his ban from the NBA, court documents indicate.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn filed a criminal information sheet on Tuesday. The document does not mention a court date or the charge or allegations, but it indicates the case is related to an ongoing prosecution of four people who are accused of devising a scheme to take advantage of information they received from a player about a plan to exit two games early.

Porter’s attorney, Jeff Jensen, said last month that Porter was “deeply troubled by his gambling addiction” but was undergoing treatment and cooperating with law enforcement agencies.

The office of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Bryon Peace declined to comment on the new developments.

An NBA investigation in April found that Porter told bookmakers about his health and then feigned illness to get out of at least one game, allowing everyone who had bet on him to perform below expectations to win. The league said Porter also bet on NBA games he did not play in, once betting against his own team.

The four men charged last month appeared in court but have not yet entered their pleas. They are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The complaint filed in court accused the four – Ammar Awadeh, Timothy McCormack, Mahmoud Molla and Long Phi Pham – of using prior knowledge of the NBA player’s schemes so that they or their relatives could place lucrative bets on his performance in the January 26 and March 20 games.

The athlete was identified in the complaint only as “Player 1,” but the details — and even a quote from an NBA news release — matched the league’s investigation into Porter.

Porter played only a few times on Jan. 26 and March 20, and left the court complaining of injury or illness.

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