New York Federal Jury Again Finds Former Adidas Official and Business Manager Guilty Due to Bribery Roles in “Pay-for-Play” NCAA Scandal

On May 8, 2019, a New York federal jury convicted aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins and former shoe company basketball consultant Merl Code of conspiring to bribe assistant college basketball coaches. Back in October 2018, another Manhattan federal jury convicted Dawkins and Code – along with former Adidas executive James Gatto – on conspiracy and fraud charges as a result of yet another trial coming out of this high-profile “pay-for-play” NCAA scandal. Following this conviction, Dawkins and Code were sentenced to six months in prison…
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Michael Avenatti Accused of Embezzling $2 million From NBA Player

Michael Avenatti, celebrity lawyer and notably outspoken President Trump critic, is once again in the spot light. On April 21, 2019, the Los Angeles Timesreported that, in 2017, Avenatti embezzled $2 million from NBA player Hassan Whiteside. Back in 2017, Avenatti was representing Alexis Gardner, Whiteside’s ex-girlfriend, in order to negotiate a settlement of a potential lawsuit against Whiteside. The public does not know the contents of an alleged potential lawsuit; however, Avenatti was able to negotiate a $3 million settlement. Both Gardner and…
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Damaging Video Recording Played in Second NCAA Basketball Corruption Trial

On April 24, 2019, a video recording of Christian Dawkins endorsing his connections to top NCAA basketball coaches, including the University of Arizona’s Sean Miller, was played in front of the jury in the second trial over NCAA basketball corruption. As we have previously reported, the trial is essentially a spin-off of a major NCAA corruption scandal. In October 2019, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud…
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NCAA Head Coaches Sean Miller and Will Wade Likely Won’t Testify in Upcoming Federal Basketball Corruption Trial

On April 19, 2019, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that two high profile NCAA men’s basketball coaches, accused of corrupt recruiting practices, are not likely to testify in an upcoming federal corruption trial. As we have previously reported, in February 2019, reports began circulating that Sean Miller, head coach at the University of Arizona, and Will Wade, head coach at Louisiana State University, were subpoenaed to testify in an upcoming trail. The trial focuses on alleged bribes paid to assistant coaches at Arizona,…
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Jury Selection Begins in Second Trial Over NCAA Basketball Corruption

On April 22, 2019, jury selection was conducted in the trial of aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins and former Adidas consultant Merl Code. Dawkins and Code stand accused of bribing major NCAA D1 basketball coaches in order to facilitate a relationship with high-profile amateur basketball players. The current trial is essentially a spin-off of a major NCAA corruption scandal. Previously, in October 2019, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant…
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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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