Man charged in betting scheme involving former NBA player Jontay Porter

A Brooklyn man was charged Tuesday in connection with an alleged illegal sports betting scheme involving Jontay Porter, the former Toronto Raptors player who was banned from the NBA after betting on his own team to lose.

After allegedly racking up large gambling debts with the alleged scheme’s co-conspirators, Porter, referred to as “Player 1” in the legal complaint, was encouraged to wipe out those debts by prematurely withdrawing from certain games to ensure that bets on his performance were successful.

According to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, Long Phi “Bruce” Pham, knowing that Porter planned to withdraw from the game, placed a bet on Porter’s performance for the Raptors’ game against the LA Clippers in January. 26.

Shortly before that match, prosecutors said Porter told Pham he would leave the match early, saying he was injured. As a result, a co-conspirator made $40,250.

Pham, 38, was arrested Monday at New York’s JFK Airport while trying to board a one-way flight to Australia, according to the criminal complaint. He was postponed Tuesday pending trial on charges of conspiracy to defraud a sports betting company.

Three unnamed co-conspirators charged in the scheme remain at large. It’s clear whether Porter, 24, is under investigation in connection with this criminal case.

Pham and his co-conspirators made a total of more than $1 million in profits, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Whether on the field or in the casino, every point counts,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “As alleged, the defendant and his co-conspirators, along with an NBA player, participated in a brazen and illegal betting scheme that had a corrupting influence on two games and numerous bets.

“These prosecutions serve as a warning that fraud and dishonesty in professional sports will not be tolerated and those who engage in this blatant disregard for the law will be prosecuted. »

Before a game against the Sacramento Kings on March 20, Pham and his co-conspirators discussed in a Telegram group chat whether Porter would quit early again, saying he felt bad, according to the criminal complaint.

Pham and his co-conspirators met at an Atlantic City casino and placed several bets on Porter, who withdrew from the March game after playing just three minutes and recording no points, three rebounds and no assists .

On April 4, during a group chat between Porter and the conspirators, Porter wrote to the group that they “might just get hit by Wa Rico”, referring to a racketeering charge, and asked if participants in the group chat had “deleted[d] all of this” from their personal cell phones, according to the complaint.

Porter was banned by the NBA on April 17 after an investigation.

Aaron Katersky is a senior investigative reporter for ABC News.

Leave a Comment