Report: Donaghy will plead guilty

Report: Donaghy will plead guilty

Report: Donaghy will plead guilty
August 14th, 2007

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly betting on and fixing games that he worked during the past two seasons, will reportedly plead guilty to federal charges on Wednesday.

Donaghy has been under scrutiny for an alleged gambling scam that reportedly involved members of the organized crime community in New York.

The New York Post reported Donaghy is expected to show up before Brooklyn federal court Judge Carol Amon on the gambling charges. The Post also reported federal law enforcement officials were expected to lock up two of Donaghy's alleged accomplices, reputed bookie James Battista and high school friend Thomas Martino.

NBA commissioner David Stern spoke at length last month about the allegations. According to Stern's timeline, the league was notified of the investigation, and Donaghy's alleged involvement, on June 20 and could not take action without hindering the process. Donaghy then resigned on July 9, 11 days before the story broke in a Post report on July 20.

Stern said during the last two seasons Donaghy refereed 139 regular-season games, eight playoff games and four preseason games.

Stern refuted reports that said the league knew of Donaghy's betting activities this season and still allowed him to work. He said there was league knowledge of a prior incident Donaghy had in a dispute with a neighbor while he lived in Pennsylvania.

The dispute, according to Stern, occurred in January of 2005 and the league was unhappy with the issue. Donaghy was unable to work playoff games that season as punishment and he soon moved to Florida because Stern said the league threatened the official's job if the problem had persisted.

Stern also said there were allegations of Donaghy gambling in Atlantic City, something from which officials are prohibited by the NBA. An investigation into those allegations came up negative.

Gambling of any kind, other than horse racing in the offseason, is prohibited for NBA officials.

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Re: Report: Donaghy will plead guilty

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy surrenders in New York City ahead of plea
August 15, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy surrendered Wednesday for his anticipated plea to gambling-related offenses, a person familiar with the probe told The Associated Press.

Donaghy surrendered early Wednesday for an appearance Brooklyn federal court, the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, told the AP on condition of anonymity.

The charge to which Donaghy would plead was not immediately known. The timing of the court appearance is uncertain.

NBA spokesman Tim Frank told the AP on Tuesday that the league was informed Donaghy would take a plea on Wednesday, but was given no further information.

Besides allegedly placing his own wagers, investigators examined whether Donaghy provided inside information to others, including referees' schedules. The referee had a gambling problem and was approached by low-level mob associates through an acquaintance, a law enforcement official has said.

The FBI first contacted the NBA on June 20 to talk about a referee alleged to be gambling on games, and the two sides met on June 21, NBA Commissioner David Stern said last month. Donaghy resigned July 9 after 13 years as a referee, though Stern said he would have fired him sooner but was told it might affect the investigation.

Stern blamed a ``rogue, isolated criminal'' for the betting scandal that has devastated the league and threatened the credibility of every referee.

Donaghy was rated in the top tier of officials, Stern said, and there was nothing suspicious about the frequency of his foul calls. He was assigned to work in the second round of the playoffs, with his last NBA game coming during the Phoenix-San Antonio Western Conference semifinal.

No other NBA officials or players were expected to be involved in the scandal, which Stern called the ``most serious situation and worst situation that I have ever experienced either as a fan of the NBA, a lawyer for the NBA or a commissioner of the NBA.''

Others outside the NBA also are expected to be charged.

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Re: Report: Donaghy will plead guilty

Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy pleads guilty to felony charges
August 15, 2007

NEW YORK (AP) -Former referee Tim Donaghy pleaded guilty to two felony charges Wednesday in connection with the NBA betting scandal.

Donaghy faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced for conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting waging information through interstate commerce.

Donaghy provided recommendations, called ``picks,'' to co-conspirators about what team they should bet on, said U.S. District Court Judge Carol Bagley Amon. If he was correct, they paid him.

The information was not public, the Brooklyn judge said. Donaghy had ``unique access,'' including what crews would officiate at games, the interaction of different officials and players, and the physical condition of certain players.

He concealed the scheme from the NBA and other referees to avoid detection, the judge said.

Donaghy also must pay a $500,000 fine and at least $30,000 in restitution.

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