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Feds charge two more suspects in NBA betting scandal likely linked to Jontay Porter


Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have charged two more men with conspiring with an NBA player to rig basketball games — including one gambler who would have won more than $1.1 million if his shady bets hadn’t been flagged.

Mahmud Mollah and Timothy McCormack are accused of leveraging the hoops player’s gambling debts to get him to leave two games for medical reasons after a few minutes of play last year, so their betting ring could win big wagering against him.

Although prosecutors don’t name the player in question, the details described in a criminal complaint match up to Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter, who was hit with a lifetime ban from the NBA in April.

On Thursday, McCormack, 36, and Mollah, 24, were both arraigned in Brooklyn Federal Court on conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges and released on $50,000 bond. McCormack must also get treatment for gambling addiction.

An alleged co-conspirator, Long Phi Pham, was charged earlier this week.

The suspects, along with an as-yet unnamed fourth co-conspirator, got advance word from a hoops player that he planned to leave two NBA games early, one on Jan. 26, the other on March 20, according to federal prosecutors.

The gamblers were poised to win big in the March 20 game, since just a few days earlier, the player had one of his best games of the season, playing 20 minutes with seven rebounds.

Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter ((Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter ((Christopher Katsarov/The Canadian Press via AP)

They all met at an Atlantic City casino the day of the game to place their bets.

McCormack placed an $8,000 bet on that game, wagering that he’d under perform on rebounds, and got $44,000 back, according to prosecutors.

Mollah was more ambitious, placing more than $100,000 in a series of bets that paid out more than $1.2 million, the feds said.

The online betting company he used flagged those wagers as suspicious before he could collect most of the winnings, though, and suspended his account.

The NBA opened an investigation into Porter after the March 20 game, and concluded that he “violated league rules by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games,” the league said in an April 17 statement announcing he was banned for life.

Porter has not been criminally charged.

Mollah’s sister and cousin secured his $50,000 bond Thursday, while McCormack’s parents did the same to secure his release. Both men declined comment Thursday.

Mollah and McCormack surrendered to authorities, while law enforcement agents arrested Pham before he could board a one-way flight to Australia Monday. His lawyer said he was traveling to attend a poker tournament in Sydney.

Pham is expected to be released on $750,000 bond once his family squares away the paperwork on the two houses they’re using as collateral.

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