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Man charged in betting scheme involving ex-NBA player Jontay Porter

Aaron Katersky, ESPN

ABrooklyn man was charged Tuesday in connection with an alleged illegal sports betting scheme involving Jontay Porter, the former Toronto Raptors player who was banned from the NBA after he bet on his own team to lose.

After allegedly amassing large gambling debts to co-conspirators in the alleged scheme, Porter, called “Player 1” in the court complaint, was encouraged to clear those debts by withdrawing from certain games prematurely to make sure bets on his performance were successful.

According to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, Long Phi “Bruce” Pham, knowing that Porter planned to withdraw from the game, placed bets on Porter’s performance for the Raptors’ matchup against the LA Clippers on Jan. 26.

Shortly before that game, prosecutors said Porter told Pham he would exit early in the contest, claiming he was injured. As a result, a co-conspirator won $40,250.

Pham, 38, was arrested at JFK Airport in New York on Monday as he tried to board a flight to Australia on a one-way ticket, according to the criminal complaint. He was ordered detained Tuesday pending trial on a charge of conspiring to defraud a sports betting company.

Three unnamed co-conspirators charged in the scheme remain at large. It’s unclear whether Porter, 24, is under investigation in the criminal case.

Pham and his co-conspirators netted over $1 million in profits overall, according to the United States Attorney’s Office.

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