Ex-Basketball Star Jailed for Game-Fixing Scheme

The FBI secretly taped phone conversations that reveal Johnson said he would have been willing to throw every game

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Brandon Johnson holds the record of all-time leading scorer in the history of the University of San Diego men’s basketball program. In May, he will begin serving 6 months in federal prison after sentencing Friday for being a willing accomplice in a game-fixing scheme

    Prosecutors said he made $5,000 to $10,000 by manipulating “approximately four games.”

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    New details were revealed Tuesday about several defendants accused of bribing players, fixing games and distributing drugs.

    “You get one reputation in life. You can lose it in an instant. You can sell it cheap, which you did," U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia told Johnson.

    The former basketball star held his head in his hands after the sentencing and told NBC 7 that he would have no comment. 

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    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.

    The FBI secretly taped phone conversations that reveal Johnson said he would have been willing to throw every game, and that he didn’t take a shot in one game because it would have cost him $1,000.
    Johnson’s role in the USD bribery case became public in a 29-page document filed by federal prosecutors.

    The wiretapped telephone calls reveal a dangerous exchange between Johnson and T.J. Brown, a former USD assistant coach and the alleged go-between with the bettors.

    Johnson admitted to knowing the point spreads of games and receiving several thousand dollars from bettors afterward. This came to light after his arrest in April 2011 when he gave a lengthy interview to federal agents.

    “I flat didn’t throw any game." Johnson insisted. "When that game started 'til that game ends, nobody is in my head — no bet, nothing.”

    The bribery case began two years ago and involved Johnson and nine other defendants.

    Eight of the ten defendants have admitted in guilty to bribing Johnson to fix USD games during the 2009-10 season, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

    Steve Goria, who was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment last year, admitted the conspiracy profited more than $120,000.

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