Wednesday, August 15, 2007

NBA Referee to Plead Guilty to Gambling Charges

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy is set to plead guilty in Brooklyn to gambling charges, according to an AP story (here).  Word first leaked about a federal investigation of the referee in June 2007, and the case involves both wagering by Donaghy on games he called and leaking information that would be useful to other gamblers in betting on games that he did not officiate.  It does not appear that anyone else tied to the NBA, either players or other officials, is involved in the gambling. (ph)


UPDATE:  A press release (here) issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York states, "Donaghy pled guilty this morning before United States District Judge Carol Bagley Amon to conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a scheme to deprive the NBA of his honest services and to conspiracy to transmit gambling information."  Two other defendants were charged with participating in the gambling conspiracy. (ph)

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Please excuse my ignorance of the law (and of facts regarding this story), but why plead guilty? It appears there is not strong precedent for the "honest services" fraud count in the 2nd Cir. Was Donaghy afraid of jail-time (wouldn't that be remote) or does this just suggest he could have faced something worse?

Posted by: curious | Aug 15, 2007 1:55:37 PM

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