Fourth Man Nabbed in NBA Betting Probe

Posted on: June 10, 2024, 10:06h. 

Last updated on: June 10, 2024, 10:06h.

A fourth man has now been arrested in connection with the NBA spot-fixing scandal involving former Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter.

Ammar Awawdeh, Jontay Porter, Bruce Pham, Timothy McCormack, Mahmud Mollah
A selfie taken by Mahmud Mollah, bottom right, as the four defendants ate in a restaurant at the unnamed Atlantic City casino, where they bet on Porter’s performances. Left to right: Ammar Awawdeh, Bruce Pham, and Timothy McCormack. (Image: US Dist. Court for the Eastern District of New York)

Ammar Awawdeh, 32, from New York City, turned himself in on Friday following the arrests of three co-defendants last week. The group is accused of conspiring with Porter to profit from Raptors games by betting the under on the player’s performance when they knew he would be exiting early from games.

Federal prosecutors believe that Porter agreed to the scheme because he had amassed large gambling debts to the group. In April, he was banned from the NBA for life for violating the league’s gambling rules.

In early 2024, using the messaging application Telegram, Awawdeh sent a text message to Porter stating, according to court documents: “Screenshot this … Me ammar awawdeh born 7/23.1991 is forcing [Jontay] to do this.”

Porter responded: “If I don’t do a ‘special’ with your terms. Then it’s up. And u hate me and if I don’t get u 8k by Friday you’re coming to Toronto to beat me up,” the documents said.

$1.27M Profit

Awawdeh’s alleged co-conspirators are Timothy McCormack, Mahmud Mollah, and Long “Bruce” Phi Pham, all arrested earlier last week, the latter at the airport as he attempted to flee to Australia. All four face wire fraud charges.

Between them, they made profits of US$1,272,875 betting on two games where Porter exited early, claiming injury. These were the January 26 loss to the LA Clippers and a March 20 game against the Sacramento Kings, again a loss for the Raptors.

Around eight bets were placed with DraftKings and FanDuel, online and in-person at an unnamed Atlantic City casino.

The flurry of big winning bets on such a small aspect of the second game was a red flag for match-fixing. At least one betting account was immediately suspended, and the operators reported their concerns to the NBA, for whom they are both official betting partners.

‘In Over Head’

On April 4, the day he received the NBA ban, Porter told the group via Telegram that they “might just get hit w a rico” – a reference to federal anti-racketeering charges. He also told them to delete their cellphone records.

On Friday, Porter’s lawyer told the Associated Press his client was a good kid who got “in over his head” because of his gambling addiction.

Jontay is a good young man with strong faith that will get him through this. He was in over his head due to a gambling addiction. He is undergoing treatment and has been fully cooperative with law enforcement,” Jensen said.

It’s not clear whether Porter will face criminal charges.

Source link

Leave a Reply