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3 Americans charged with NBA sports betting fraud

New York – US authorities have charged three individuals with conspiring with an NBA player to rig basketball games, New York prosecutors said Thursday.

In April, the NBA banned Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for life after a bombshell probe found he bet on league matches.

Porter’s name is redacted in the indictment by Brooklyn federal prosecutors, but game dates and other details in the document match up with Porter.

According to the indictment, Timothy McCormack, Mahmud Mollah and Long Phi Pham, also known as Bruce, “did knowingly and intentionally conspire to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud” an online sports betting company.

According to the investigators, McCormack won $44,000 thanks to his bets, while Mollah netted over $1.2 million. 

They two are accused of getting Porter to leave two games for medical reasons after a few minutes of play so they could bet against him.

Alerted by online betting companies, the FBI began an investigation.

McCormack and Mollah were charged on Thursday and released on bail, while Pham was arrested on Monday at New York’s JFK airport before he could board a one-way flight to Australia.

The NBA accuses Porter, younger brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr., of placing at least 13 bets on NBA games from January through March of this year while traveling with either the Raptors or their G League affiliate Raptors 905.

NBA players are forbidden from wagering on NBA games under league rules. Those found to have gambled on NBA games risk a fine, suspension or life ban from the sport.

“There is nothing more important than protecting the integrity of NBA competition for our fans, our teams and everyone associated with our sport, which is why Jontay Porter’s blatant violations of our gaming rules are being met with the most severe punishment,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in April announcing Porter’s ban.

A majority of US states have legalized sports betting since a Supreme Court decision in 2018.

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