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2 more charged in betting scandal involving ex-NBA player Jontay Porter

Associated Press, ESPN

NEW YORK — Two more men were charged Thursday in the sports betting scandal that prompted the NBA to ban former Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter for life.

Timothy McCormack and Mahmud Mollah now join two other men — Long Phi Pham and a fourth whose name remains redacted in a court complaint — as defendants in a federal wire fraud case about wagers allegedly based on tips from a player about his plans to exit two games early.

Prosecutors haven’t publicly named Porter in connection with the case, but game dates and other details about the “Player 1” mentioned in the court documents match up with Porter and his April banishment from the NBA. Brooklyn federal prosecutors have declined to comment on whether the former forward is under investigation.

Current contact information could not immediately be found for Porter or any agent or other representative he may have.

An NBA investigation found in April that he tipped off bettors about his health and then claimed illness to exit at least one game and make some wagers succeed. Porter also gambled on NBA games in which he didn’t play, once betting against his own team, the league said.

Prosecutors say McCormack, Mollah, Pham and the as-yet-unknown fourth defendant took part in a scheme to get “Player 1” to take himself off the court so that they could win bets against his performance.

And win they did, with Mollah’s bets on a March 20 game netting over $1.3 million, according to the complaint. It said Pham, the player and the unnamed defendant were each supposed to get about a quarter of those winnings, and McCormack a 4% cut, before a betting company got suspicious and blocked Mollah from collecting most of the money.

McCormack also cleared more than $33,000 on a bet on a Jan. 26 game, the complaint said.

His attorney, Jeffrey Chartier, said Thursday that “no case is a slam-dunk.” He declined to comment on whether his client knows Porter.

Lawyers for Mollah and Pham have declined to comment on the allegations.

McCormack, 36, of New York, and Mollah, 24, of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, were granted $50,000 bond each after their arraignments Thursday. A judge agreed Wednesday to release Pham to home detention and electronic monitoring on $750,000 bond. The 38-year-old Brooklyn resident, who also uses the first name Bruce, remained in custody Thursday as paperwork and other details were finalized.

According to the complaint, “Player 1” amassed significant gambling debts by the beginning of 2024, and the unnamed defendant prodded him to clear his obligations by doing a “special” — their code for leaving certain games early to ensure the success of bets that he’d underperform expectations.

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