Michael Avenatti Arrested for an Attempt to Extort up to $26.5 Million From Nike

On March 25, 2019, celebrity lawyer and outspoken President Trump critic, Michael Avenatti, was arrested and taken into custody after federal prosecutors charged him with numerous crimes, including conspiracy to commit extortion, bank fraud, and wire fraud. According to a federal criminal complaint, on March 19, 2019, Avenatti met with Nike representatives claiming to represent a youth basketball coach who had information that Nike employees made illicit payments to the families of high school athletes. Avenatti and his alleged co-conspirator Mark Geragos, a high-profile criminal…
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Ex-Auburn Assistant Coach Pleads Guilty

Former Auburn basketball assistant coach, Chuck Person, has reportedly plead guilty to a conspiracy charge. Person, who was previously accused of accepting bribes and encouraging Auburn basketball players to sign with certain financial advisors and business managers, is the latest NCAA figure to be caught up in the NCAA corruption/Bribery scandal and trial. As we have continued to report, the scandal, which concluded in a trail and convictions, involved Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins. Each…
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Former Penn Basketball Coach Takes the Stand, Admits Accepting Bribes

On March 8, 2019, former head basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania, Jerome Allen, took the stand as a government witness in the trial of Philip Esformes. Allen, now with the Boston Celtics, previously plead guilty, in October 2019, to a bribery-related money laundering charge. Allen testified against Esformes, a healthcare executive, claiming that Esformes bribed him with $300,000 in bags full of cash and wire transfers so Esformes’ son, Morris, could qualify as a “recruited” basketball player, which would help him get accepted…
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Judge Explains Reasoning in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Trial

On January 17, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan explained his reasoning behind precluding the defendants use of an expert witness in the NCAA corruption/bribery trial. As we previously reported, on October 24, 2018, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christopher Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud charges arising out of a high-profile college basketball pay-for-play scandal. In a memorandum, Judge Kaplan explained that expert witness Dr. Daniel…
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Judge Allows High School Basketball Star to Play Amid Controversy

Maori Davenport, a girls high school basketball star and Rutgers recruit, was ruled ineligible for her senior season of basketball after a controversial ruling. Back in November 2018, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) suspended Davenport after she cashed an $857.20 check sent to her by Team USA. Previously, in August 2018, Davenport played for Team USA in the FIBA Americas U18 Tournament. The $857.20 check was sent to Davenport to cover her expenses and lost wages; however, a clerical error was made and…
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Mother of Deceased NBA Minor Leaguer Seeks to Keep Suit in Eastern Michigan

The mother of deceased minor league basketball player appeared before a Michigan federal court, arguing to keep her case in Eastern Michigan. The mother, Jewel Upshaw, is pursuing litigation against the Detroit Pistons, the NBA, the owners of the arena where the incident occurred, and a group of Pistons investors, contending that the defendants are liable for negligence and the wrongful death of her son, Zeke Upshaw. As we have previously reported, Upshaw was playing during the March 24, 2018 game, defending his player man-to-man,…
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NCAA Corruption/Bribery Trial Fallout

As we previously reported, on October 24, 2018, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christopher Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud charges arising out of a high-profile college basketball pay-for-play scandal. The breadth of the NCAA Corruption/Bribery Scandal rocked the NCAA. While the trial concluded with convictions, it is not likely that the story ends here. Many experts believe that various NCAA Division I Schools are now in the crosshairs of…
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Brian Bowen Sr. Admits To Taking Cash to Secure His Son’s Commitment to Louisville

On October 9, 2018, Brian Bowen Sr., the father of a Louisville Cardinals’ recruit, took the stand to testify in the FBI’s case regarding corruption in college basketball. Federal prosecutors assert that it is a federal crime to break NCAA rules and is charging two Adidas officials an NBA agent with accusations that they brokered a deal to pay families of recruits to secure a commitment to Adidas-sponsored teams. According to federal prosecutors, Adidas officials and others conspired to pay Bowen’s family $100,000
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Father of Ex-Louisville Recruit Gives Moving Testimony in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Trial

On October 4, 2018, the father of ex-University of Louisville basketball recruit, Brian “Tugs” Bowen, broke down in tears before he gave testimony in the NCAA Corruption/Bribery Trial. As we have previously reported, on February 21, 2018, Yahoo Sports reported that financial records, documents, and wiretaps tied to prominent former NBA agent, Andy Miller, and his former associate, Christian Dawkins, provided the prosecution with a detailed window into the ongoing NCAA Corruption and Bribery scandal. The scandal, now case, involves Adidas executive Jim Gatto,…
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NCAA Adopts New Policies Amid Bribery Scandal

On August 8, 2018, the NCAA announced sweeping policy changes specifically targeting NCAA Men’s Basketball. These policy changes come in the midst of an ongoing bribery scandal. As we have previously covered, the scandal involved two alleged schemes that rocked NCAA Men’s Basketball. The first scheme involved NCAA basketball coaches who solicited and accepted bribes from financial advisers and, in return, promised to persuade players to send business to those financial advisers once the players turned professional. The second scheme involved efforts to secretly…
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