NCAA Bribery Suit Continues Less One Defendent
The NCAA corruption and bribery case is still ongoing, though now with one less defendant. We recently reported on a motionfiled February 9, 2018, in which the defendants moved to suppress evidence arising from an allegedly flawed warrant application by the United States Attorney’s Office. Also on February 9, and in further progression of the case, a federal judge complied with a request by federal prosecutors to dismiss the charges against defendant Jonathan Brad Augustine, former director of an Adidas-sponsored travel basketball organization called 1 Family Hoops. This dismissal relieved Augustine of a slew of charges, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
The charges emerged after Augustine and several other individuals were alleged to have participated in a scheme which funneled money to the families of high school basketball players in effort to attract them to Adidas-sponsored NCAA Division I universities after graduation, and ultimately to lead them to sign with Adidas upon going pro.
Augustine’s alleged role in this scheme was to facilitate the payments between high school recruits and Adidas executives. The scheme was said to have been furthered by sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial advisor Munish Sood, who are still named defendants in the suit. Other named defendants in the suit are Adidas executive, James Gatto and Adidas consultant, Merl Code. The reasoning behind the dismissal of Augustine’s charges while the other defendants remain in question is uncertain.
Augustine’s dismissal immediately follows surfaced details of misappropriated government funds by an undercover FBI agent previously working on the case, who also happened to be one of the government’s key witnesses. It is not yet known whether there is any connection between Augustine’s dismissal and the concerns surrounding the undercover agent.