Ex-NBA player Jontay Porter admits to $1M gambling scheme in Brooklyn court

Porter admits to placing bets on NBA games and throwing games

July 11, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter attempts a 3-point shot during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Orlando Magic, Sunday, March 17, 2024, in Orlando, Fla. Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
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Former NBA player Jontay Porter pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court on Wednesday to a wire fraud conspiracy related to a gambling scheme that netted shady bettors over $1 million. 

Porter, 24, who once played for the Toronto Raptors, admitted to tipping off gamblers about games he intended to rig to clear his own gambling debts.

Porter’s confession included details of placing bets and collaborating with others to manipulate game outcomes. “I know what I did was wrong and unlawful, and I’m deeply sorry,” Porter told Federal Court Judge James Cho. He faces an estimated $456,000 in fines and restitution.

Prosecutors have recommended a prison sentence of 41 to 51 months, with sentencing scheduled for Dec. 18. Porter was released on a $250,000 bond, secured by his mother and wife, and must continue gambling counseling.

Porter’s downfall began with mounting gambling debts, which he attempted to clear by conspiring with four gamblers: Long Phi Pham, Mahmud Mollah, Timothy McCormack and Ammar Awawdeh. These individuals face charges for profiting from bets on games Porter deliberately sabotaged.

The scheme involved “prop bets,” or proposition bets, on specific player performance metrics. In a January 26 game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Porter faked an eye injury and exited after just four minutes. A similar act followed on March 20 against the Sacramento Kings, where Porter claimed illness to leave early.

Porter’s performances in these games fell short of expected totals, allowing the gamblers to cash in on their “under” prop bets. On April 4, the day Porter was banned for life from the NBA for betting on games, he warned the group about potential legal repercussions, instructing them to wipe their phones.

Porter’s career, once filled with promise, included stints with the Raptors and their G-League affiliate. He averaged 3.7 points and 2.6 rebounds over 37 career games. His college career at the University of Missouri was marked by playing for his father and going undrafted in 2019 before signing with the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2020-21 season.

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