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Dusted out of NBA, former player Jontay Porter to go to court in betting case

Former NBA player Jontay Porter is set to appear in court to face federal criminal charges

NEW YORK – Former NBA player Jontay Porter is due in court Wednesday to face a federal criminal case tied to betting scandal which got him banned from the league earlier this year.

Court records show the former Toronto Raptors center is scheduled for a trial and a “plea hearing.” Prosecutors have not specified the charge or charges, other than to say in a brief court document that it is a serious case.

Porter’s attorney has not responded to messages seeking comment since court paperwork was filed last week. The lawyer has previously said Porter was cooperating with authorities while being treated for a gambling addiction.

Last week’s skeleton court filing revealed that the case against Porter is related to a pending charges against four other men. The four have been arraigned on charges of conspiracy to defraud, but have yet to plead guilty.

These men are accused of taking advantage of a tip from an NBA player that he would leave two games early. They or their relatives used the knowledge to make big-winning bets that the athlete would do poorly in those matches, according to a court filing filed when they were indicted in June.

The complaint did not name the player. But it said he had spoken with investigators in hopes of getting an appeal and a stay of sentence “in the event he is criminally charged.”

According to the complaint, one of the four men pressured the player to clear gambling debts by withdrawing early from games so that bets on him underperforming would pay off.

In a message responding to the man’s instructions, the player wrote that if he didn’t carry out the plan, “you hate me and if I don’t get you 8k by Friday you’re coming to Toronto to beat me.”

After tipping off some of the men, the player claimed he was injured or ill and withdrew from the Jan. 26 and March 20 games after just a few minutes on the court, the complaint said.

Porter only played briefly on those dates before complaining of injury or illness and leaving the games. His points, rebounds and assists in both games fell short of the sportsbook’s expectations.

After the NBA and others began investigating, the player told some of the men they “might just get hit wa rico,” an apparent reference to the common abbreviation for a federal racketeering charge, according to the complaint against them. It said the player also asked the men if they had deleted “all the stuff” from their phones.

The NBA’s investigation found that Porter not only left at least one game for the sake of players, but also bet on NBA games in which he did not play. He once bet against his own team, the league said.

Porter averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists in 26 games this season, including five starts. He also played in 11 games for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2020-21 season.

The 24-year-old’s NBA salary was about $410,000.

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