Ex-NBA Player Jontay Porter Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud Conspiracy in Betting Scandal

Image by: ABC7 New York

Former NBA player Jontay Porter pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to conduct wire fraud in a federal criminal prosecution related to the betting scandal that resulted in his ban from the league earlier this year.

The former Toronto Raptors center entered the plea at his arraignment in New York federal court and was scheduled to be released on a $250,000 bail.

Porter’s lawyer had previously stated that he was working with authorities while receiving treatment for his gambling addiction.

Court documents revealed that Porter’s case is linked to the current prosecution of four other individuals. The four have been arraigned on a charge of conspiracy to conduct wire fraud but have not entered a plea.

Those guys are accused of conspiring to profit from an NBA player’s tip that he would leave two games early. They or their families utilized the information to put large winning wagers that the athlete would perform poorly in those games, according to a court complaint filed when they were indicted in June.

The complaint did not name the player, but the details were consistent with an NBA inquiry that led to Porter’s suspension from the league this spring. The league discovered that he bet on NBA games and supplied bettors with private information about his health.

Porter testified in court on Wednesday that he agreed to quit early from games to pay off big gambling debts and win bets on his performance with co-conspirators. “I know what I did was wrong, unlawful, and I am deeply sorry,” he told me.

Porter is due to be sentenced on December 18. He might face between three and a half and four years in prison. He is also expected to face hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution and fines.

According to the complaint, one of the four men pressured the player to pay off gambling debts by prematurely withdrawing from games so that bets on his underperformance would pay off.

In response to the man’s orders, the player stated in a message that if he didn’t follow the plan, “u hate me and if I don’t get you 8k by Friday you’re coming to Toronto to beat me up.”

After tipping off some of the men, the player claimed injury or illness and left the Jan. 26 and March 20 games after only a few minutes on the court, according to the complaint.

Porter only played short on those dates before claiming he was injured or ill and leaving the games. His scoring, rebounding, and assist totals in both games fell short of bookies’ projections.

After the NBA and others began investigating, the player messaged some of the men that they “might just get hit with a Rico,” an apparent allusion to the common acronym for a federal racketeering charge, according to the lawsuit. It added the player also questioned the men if they had deleted “all the stuff” from their phones.

The NBA’s investigation discovered that Porter not only left at least one game for gambling purposes but also wagered on NBA games in which he did not play. The league reported that he once bet against his team.

Porter averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.3 assists over 26 games this season, including five starts. He also appeared in 11 games for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2020–2021 season.

The 24-year-old’s NBA salary was approximately $410,000 NBCNEWS stated

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