Thursday, August 16, 2007

Former NBA ref surrenders to charges he bet on games he officiated

Tim Donaghy, an ex-NBA referee, surrendered today for an appearance in a Brooklyn federal court. Law enforcement officials said that Donaghy allegedly placed his own bets, and also released confidential information to others, including referees' schedules. Today, Donaghy pleaded guilty to 'conspiracy to engage in wire fraud' and 'transmitting wagering information to other individuals'. These two charges could result in up to 25 years in jail.

Tim Frank, a NBA spokesman, told the Associated Press the league was informed yesterday that Donaghy would plead today but was not given any further information.

Both John Lauro, Donaghy's attorney, and federal prosecutors did not comment. But, NBA commissioner David Stern said a month ago that the ex-referee's lawyer told the league Donaghy was contemplating a plea. The plea was made official early today.

Donaghy has been reportedly cooperating with prosecuting attorneys who together are building a case against other people to whom Donaghy may have provided inside information.

Donaghy today told the court that he had a gambling problem. However, he also said that he was receiving treatment for it.

The Associated Press reports that no other NBA officials or players are suspects in this case.

The FBI contacted the NBA on June 20, 2007 to talk about a referee who was allegedly gambling on games. The FBI and the NBA officially met on June 21. Donaghy resigned from his position July 9, after over 10 years as a referee

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