• Loading stock data...
Friday, June 21, 2024

Conspirator Arrested in Federal Complaint Tied to Jontay Porter Scheme

  • Authorities arrested Long Phi Pham, who goes by Bruce, at JFK airport Monday.
  • Federal prosecutors allege Porter accumulated gambling debts early in the year to Pham and his crew.
Mar 11, 2024; Denver, Colorado, USA; Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter (34) reacts after a play in the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets at Ball Arena.
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Jontay Porter isn’t out of the woods yet. 

The Raptors forward who was banned from the NBA in April for betting on games, is part of a broader illegal betting scheme that led to the arrest of a Brooklyn man at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York as he attempted to flee the country. 

Authorities arrested Long Phi Pham, who goes by Bruce, at the airport Monday as he tried to board a one-way flight to Australia, the criminal complaint said. He was detained Tuesday, pending trial on a charge of conspiracy to defraud a sports betting company. Three other suspects in the case remain at large. It’s unclear whether prosecutors are investigating Porter, too. 

Federal prosecutors allege Porter accumulated gambling debts early in the year to Pham and his crew and was encouraged to pay them back by ensuring the under hit on his individual player prop bets. 

The news came the same day MLB banned Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano for betting on baseball and Ippei Mizuhara pleaded guilty to stealing $17 million from Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani to cover illegal gambling debts.  

According to federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, Pham knew Porter planned to exit a January game against the Clippers early and placed bets on his performance accordingly. Prosecutors added that Porter told Pham before the game that he would exit early claiming an injury. The result was that a co-conspirator in the case won $40,250 off his bets on Porter. 

A similar process unfolded before a Raptors game against the Kings in March. According to the complaint, Pham and his co-conspirators discussed in a Telegram chat that Porter would exit the game early claiming illness. Pham and his co-conspirators went to an Atlantic City casino and placed bets on Porter, who removed himself from the game after playing three minutes. Pham and his group netted more than $1 million in profits off Porter bets according to the United States Attorneys’ Office. 

“Whether on the court or in the casino, every point matters,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement. “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. 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.”

Almost two weeks before the NBA banished him, Porter alerted Pham and his crew about a potential case coming their way. On April 4, in a group chat with Porter and the conspirators, Porter told the group that they “might just get hit [with] a rico,” referring to a racketeering charge and asked the group whether they had deleted evidence off their cellphones, according to the complaint. 

Pham tried to leave the country after the government tried to question him Sunday. The complaint said he was arrested with a bag that contained $12,000 in cash, two cashier’s checks worth $80,000, and several betting slips. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

NCAA Backs Dartmouth Against Unionizing Men’s Basketball Players

The NCAA’s quest to save its business model continues.

Aces Sell Out Regular-Season Home Games in WNBA First

The Aces’ slow start continues to have no impact on the box office. 

Border War Intensifies: Kansas Makes Swift Move to Lure Chiefs and Royals

A bipartisan supermajority of Kansas legislators approve bonding for new stadiums for the Chiefs and Royals.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

How Women’s Sports Media is Charting Its Own Path


Featured Today

Jan 3, 2022; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; General view of the NFL shield logo signage before the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.

Odds Stacked Against NFL in Multibillion-Dollar Sunday Ticket Trial

Why the class action trial does not look promising for the league.
Jan 7, 2024; San Francisco, California, USA; Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter (11) takes a three-point shot against the Golden State Warriors during the second half at Chase Center.
June 9, 2024

‘Bound to Happen’: The Age of the Sports Betting Scandal Has Arrived

A banishment, betting scheme, and guilty plea all in one scandal-filled span.
June 8, 2024

‘Experimental in Nature’: The Rapid, Confounding Rise of Streaming Bundles

Here’s why confusion continues to outweigh solutions in the streaming package boom.
June 2, 2024

The Nostalgia Market: Michael Jordan’s Memorabilia Remains Coveted, With Caveats

Due to scarcity, and sometimes, items’ undisclosed whereabouts, this world has limitations.
Dec 14, 2023; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Ippei Mizuhara, the translator for Los Angeles Dodgers designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, during an introductory press conference at Dodger Stadium.

Shohei Ohtani’s Former Interpreter Pleads Guilty to Stealing $17 Million, Tax Fraud

Mizuhara faces up to 33 years in prison, with sentencing in October.
Jul 9, 2023; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Tucupita Marcano (30) fields a ground ball against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
June 4, 2024

MLB Bans Padres Infielder for Betting on Baseball, Suspends Four Others

On the Pirateslast season, Tucupita Marcano bet on Pittsburgh’s own games.
Tucupita Marcano
June 4, 2024

Lifetime Ban Is More Proof of Sports’ Complicated Betting Relationship

MLB suspends five players, including one permanently, for betting on big league games.

How HOKA is Reimagining the NIL Relationship

HOKA, the renowned athletic footwear and apparel brand, is betting on a new reality with NIL.
June 3, 2024

Padres Infielder Could Face Lifetime MLB Ban Over Gambling

As a Pirate last season, Tucupita Marcano allegedly bet on Pittsburgh games.
May 30, 2024

More States Hiking Sports Betting Taxes, Eyeing Revenue Windfall

Illinois more than doubles its peak tax rate on sportsbook operators, with others likely to follow.
May 20, 2024

MLB Officially Investigating Gambling Allegations Against Ohtani’s Close Friend and Longtime Teammate

David Fletcher reportedly used the same bookmaker as Ohtani’s former interpreter.
May 8, 2024

Former Ohtani Interpreter Pleading Guilty to Bank Fraud, False Tax Return

Ippei Mizuhara faces up to 33 years in federal prison for his crimes.