Friday, April 28, 2006
Tim Montgomery won a gold medal in the 2000 Olympics as a member of the United States 400-meter relay team, and set the record for the 100-meter dash in 2002. That record was wiped from the books and he was banned from international competition for two years because of accusations arising from his involvement in the Balco (Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative) steroid scandal. Now, Montgomery has been stopped in his tracks by an arrest for alleged involvement in a scheme to cash stolen or forged checks and launder the funds. In February, Montgomery's one-time coach, 1976 Olympic gold medalist Steve Riddick, was charged with being part of the scheme, and now the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York announced that Montgomery has been added to the indictment as a defendant and arrested in Virginia. The press release (here, from the Wall Street Journal Law Blog) states that Montgomery is accused of depositing three checks into his account, totaling $775,000, for which he received $20,000 from Riddick for assisting in the transactions. Riddick is also accused of depositing three checks for over $900,000 into accounts with which he was associated.
Montgomery and Riddick are two of twelve defendants charged, and appear to be peripheral players in a multimillion dollar scheme organized out of New York City. Whether the former Olympians knowingly participated in a check fraud or were duped into allowing their accounts to be used will have to be sorted out later, either at trial or through a plea agreement. For now, Montgomery's reputation continues to sink. An AP story (here) discusses the charges against Montgomery. (ph)