Disgraced NBA Player Accused of 'Fixing' Games Accomplice Arrested Trying to Flee Country

Written by:
C Costigan
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Former Toronto Raptor Jontay Porter has been banned for life from the NBA and an investigation continues.  On Monday, an individual with ties to Porter and the gambling scandal found himself arrested as he attempted to flee the country.


Long Phi Pham, better known by his nickname "Bruce," was arrested Monday at John F. Kennedy Airport as he attempted to board a flight to Australia with a one-way ticket. The U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest saying Phi Pham conspired with others to defraud a sports betting company.

Pham is described by the New York Post as a "poker shark". 

Pham, 38, is a member of a crew to whom Porter owed a massive sum to before tanking his performance in at least two games at their behest, the feds claim.

“I think he is trying to flee the country to evade prosecution,” Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak said during a hearing Wednesday in Brooklyn federal court. “I am sitting here today with very serious doubts that I am making a big mistake.”

"Whether on the court or in the casino, every point matters. 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," Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement announcing the arrest. "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.”

Pham's bail was set at $750,000.

The focus of the gambling probe is on two games in which the former NBA player appeared in briefly then exited with either an injury or illness in each. He played four minutes 24 seconds against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first of those games, then played 2:43 against Sacramento in the second game.

In both cases, Porter did not come close to hitting the prop-wager lines for points, rebounds and three-pointers that bettors could play.

ESPN said the props surrounding Porter for the Clippers game were 5.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists; he finished with no points, three rebounds and one assist.

We are learning that an arrest occurred earlier this week of one of the people who allegedly bet big on Porter "prop unders" as part of the scam.


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