Saturday, July 21, 2007

FBI investigates NBA referee Donaghy

Law enforcement agencies including the FBI are investigating whether veteran National Basketball League referee Tim Donaghy influenced the outcome of games he or his associates wagered on, according to a story by Alan Schwarz and William K. Rashbaum of the New York Times.

A source directly involved with the case told news reporters that Donaghy (left) had been betting on games with a mob-connected bookie and fell into debt. He then came under the influence of an organized crime figure. The FBI is looking into whether Donaghy then cooperated with the criminal by making calls that affected the outcome of games. The Bureau is specifically focusing on 10-15 games of the 60 Donaghy officiated since December 2006.

NBA Commissioner David Stern released this statement: "We would like to assure our fans that no amount of effort, time or personnel is being spared to assist in this investigation, to bring to justice an individual who has betrayed the most sacred trust in professional sports, and to take the necessary steps to protect against this ever happening again." Stern said the league would hold a press conference on the matter next week.

Donaghy is expected to turn himself over to authorities next week. Other arrests could follow. The investigation began more than a year ago, according to a column by Murray Weiss in the New York Post.

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Editor/publisher of crime history journal, Informer. Publisher of American Mafia history website Moderator of Mafia-related Google+ community and Yahoo discussion group. Author of Wrongly Executed? Coauthor of Deep Water: Joseph P. Macheca and the Birth of the American Mafia and DiCarlo: Buffalo's First Family of Crime. Contributor of American Mafia history to Australian-published Mafia: The Necessary Reference to Organized Crime. Writer/co-writer of crime history articles for Informer, On the Spot Journal, Cigar City Magazine, Tampa Mafia Magazine.