Guilty Plea in USD Sports Betting Scandal

As part of the plea agreement, Richard Thweni admitted to operating a sports book between January 2009 and April 2011

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCSanDiego

    An El Cajon man has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he was part of a betting ring involving the University of San Diego's basketball team.

    Richard Thweni, 26, pleaded guilty Thursday in San Diego to conspiracy to commit sports bribery, conduct an illegal gambling business and distribute marijuana.

    Former USD Athletes, Coach Tied to Bribery Sting

    [DGO] Former USD Athletes, Coach Tied to Bribery Sting
    10 defendants allegedly conspired to bribe basketball players to alter the outcome of games so the defendants could profit by betting on games at Las Vegas casinos, according to the indictment. (Published Monday, Apr 11, 2011)

    Thweni faces up to five years in prison at sentencing in August.

    As part of the plea agreement, Thweni admitted to operating a sports book between January 2009 and April 2011, and trying to collect an outstanding gambling debt.

    Suspect in Bribery Sting Has Criminal Record

    [DGO] Suspect in Bribery Sting Has Criminal Record
    FBI agents used extreme caution when they arrested him. (Published Monday, Apr 11, 2011)

    The indicment lists 10 defendants including former USD assistant coach Thaddeus Brown, 32, and two former players including Brandon Johnson, 24, the school's leader in several key categories and Brandon Dowdy, 22, who played during the 2006-2007 season.

    Steven Goria, 32, Richard Garmo, 32, David Gates, 34, Lilian Goria, 32, and Jake Salter, 23, were also named in the indictment. Read the full indictment here.

    Neighbor Evacuated, Describes Arrest

    [DGO] Neighbor Evacuated, Describes Arrest
    Zulay Romero says she was one of the first residents evacuated before a SWAT team arrested Steven Goria in connection with a college bribery scandal. (Published Monday, Apr 11, 2011)

    Prosecutors said Johnson was recruited to throw games as part of the scheme.

    Operation “Hook Shot” was a one-year investigation that at first focused on marijuana but soon expanded once the allegations of bribery and sports betting were uncovered. 

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