Man Charged in Connection to Betting Scandal Involving Ex-NBA Player Jontay Porter

Tyler LogoFeatured Columnist IVJune 4, 2024

TORONTO, CANADA - MARCH 15:  Jontay Porter #34 of the Toronto Raptors smiles before the game against the Orlando Magic on March 15, 2024 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2024 NBAE (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images)

Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

Long Phi “Bruce” Pham was arrested Monday and charged with conspiring with former NBA player Jontay Porter to defraud a sports betting company, per Aaron Katersky of ESPN.

The FBI detained Pham at JFK Airport in New York after he allegedly booked a one-way ticket to Australia. Investigators attempted to interview Pham on Sunday in connection to the case, which saw Porter conspire with Pham and three others to defraud sports books. The three other unnamed suspects in the case are at large.

According to the FBI, Porter had “had amassed significant gambling debts” to Pham and the others. In an attempt to repay those debts, Porter agreed to exit certain games early while he was playing with the Toronto Raptors.

Pham and others placed heavy bets on Porter’s under totals for a Jan. 26 game against the Los Angeles Clippers, knowing Porter would exit early due to a faked injury. Porter faked an illness during a March 20 game against the Sacramento Kings, again allowing his unders to hit.

Pham and others netted more than $1 million in successful bets as a result.

“Whether on the court or in the casino, every point matters,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “As alleged, the defendant and his co-conspirators, as well as an NBA player, participated in a brazen, illegal betting scheme that had a corrupting influence on two games and numerous bets.

“This prosecution serves as a warning that fraud and dishonesty in professional sports will not be tolerated and those who engage in this flagrant flouting of the law will be prosecuted.”

Porter, the brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., was permanently banned by the NBA in April. It’s unclear if he’s under criminal investigation.

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