Report: Agent in FBI probe into corruption in college basketball accused of misconduct
The undercover agent is suspected of spending government money on gambling, food and beverages
An undercover FBI agent who played a key role in the investigation into corruption within college basketball has been accused of misusing government money on gambling, food and drinks.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the agent played a key role in setting up a number of the coaches who were arrested when news broke of the bribery and corruption scheme last September. Beginning in spring 2017, the agent spent months undercover, however shortly after an undercover meeting in late July 2017, the agent abruptly appeared to stop working on the operation.
The absence of the agent was reportedly explained to those involved as an overseas trip, however the Justice Department opened an inquiry into the agent's behavior at some time last year. If found culpable, the agent's ability to be a witness in the cases he was part of -- including the college basketball case -- could be in peril.
The undercover agent in question reportedly posed as a business partner of Marty Blazer, the FBI's cooperating witness in the case, to make coaches believe he was helping funnel money to them in exchange for the business the coaches would bring in after their players turned pro.
In the months that followed, the FBI charged four coaches -- Oklahoma State's Lamont Evans, Auburn's Chuck Person, Arizona's Emanuel Richardson and Southern California's Tony Bland -- in the corruption and bribery scheme. Six other individuals, including former Adidas executive James Gatto and financial adviser Munish Sood.
This week, Person and an Atlanta suitmaker named Rashan Michel both had trial dates set for February 2019. Next week a judge will hear arguments and determine whether or not to dismiss charges against some of the defendants named in the case based off whether or not there were laws broken in the corruption scheme.
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