All in the Family: Father of NCAA Corruption Convict Allegedly Fired for Soliciting $25,000 from Student-Athlete

Cleveland State University (CSU) has fired Lou Dawkins, the father of aspiring sports agent and convicted NCAA bribery conspirator Christian Dawkins, from his assistant basketball coach position for soliciting $25,000 from a student-athlete. As we previously reported, Christian Dawkins and Adidas consultant, Merl Code, were convicted by a federal jury in October 2018 on fraud charges. Then, in May 2019, Dawkins and Code were convicted by another federal jury on conspiracy to bribe assistant college basketball coaches. Dawkins is currently arguing for leniency in…
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$29.5 Million Sports Betting Scheme Unraveled by SEC

On August 30, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Nevada against John Thomas, 74, and Thomas Becker, 72. The SEC alleges Thomas and Becker ran a fraudulent $29.5 million sports betting investment scheme. The two men raised the funds from 600 investors across 40 states by “offering investors pooled investment contracts whereby [the investors] obtain the opportunity to share in the purported profits” from Thomas’ and Becker’s “proprietary sports betting system.” Thomas and Becker communicated…
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Key Witness in NCAA Corruption Trial Avoids Prison Time

Munish Sood, a crucial witness in the NCAA corruption cases, will avoid both prison time and probation, a federal judge ruled. Sood, a New Jersey financial adviser, admitted to paying bribes to a variety of people involved in college athletics. Included are two former assistant coaches: Lamont Evans, of the University of South Carolina, and Emanuel “Book” Richardson, of the University of Arizona, who each pled guilty and faced three months of prison time. Government counsel requested leniency at Sood’s hearing, with attorney Noah…
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Somerville Mayor Sues Barstool Sports, Kirk Minihane for Lying to Conduct Interview

Joseph Curtatone, mayor of Somerville, Massachusetts, filed a lawsuit against Massachusetts-based sports media company, Barstool Sports (Barstool), as well as Kirk Minihane, a podcaster who Barstool recently hired. The lawsuit alleges that Barstool and Minihane violated Massachusetts’ wiretap statute by recording an interview with the mayor via “fraud,” according to the complaint filed on June 17, 2019. Mayor Curtatone announced the lawsuit himself via Twitter. In the video recording, which Barstool posted on its website and two of its social media platforms, Minihane pretended…
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UFC Fighter Wins 27.5 Million in Lawsuit over Tainted Supplement

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Yoel Romero (Romero) has won $27.45 million in damages after New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carlia Brady entered a default judgment for him against Gold Star Performance Products (Gold Star). The lawsuit stems from a failed drug test by Romero in 2015 for the banned substance, Ibutamoren. This led to a six-month suspension from the UFC by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Throughout the process, Romero has maintained that the New Jersey-based supplement company misrepresented ingredients of its Shred RX…
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FIFA Bans Brazilian Soccer Official

On April 15, 2019, Jose Maria Marin, a Brazilian soccer official, was officially banned for life by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). In August 2018, the 86-year-old Marin was sentenced to four years in United States prison for racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud. According to FIFA, Marin was also guilty of taking bribes linked to media and marketing rights for South American and Brazilian soccer competitions. During his 2017 trial, federal prosecutors said that Marin received $6.6 million in bribes and was…
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Mike v. Nike: Avenatti Strikes Again

Michael Avenatti, celebrity lawyer and notably outspoken President Trump critic, again struck back at Nike in a series of tweets alleging foul play. On April 6, 2019, Avenatti stated that he had turned over documents and other evidence to law enforcement, which shows Nike was involved in an illicit bribing scandal involving high school players and their family members. At 9:01 am on April 6, 2019, Avenatti tweeted, “1/2 – Here is a link to only SOME of the evidence showing Nike bribed players…
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Avenatti Strikes Back at Nike

Just one day after being arrested and charged with numerous crimes, including conspiracy to commit extortion, bank fraud, and wire fraud, celebrity lawyer and outspoken President Trump critic, Michael Avenatti, proclaimed his innocence and struck back at Nike in a CBS interview and a string of tweets. As we just recently reported, on March 25, 2019, Avenatti was charged and taken into custody after federal prosecutors were tipped off about Avenatti’s attempt to extort up to $26.5 million from Nike. However, over the last twenty-four…
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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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