Final arrest made in alleged Porter NBA gambling scheme

NBA Porter Jontay Fourth Defendant Gambling Scheme Arrest
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The fourth and final co-conspirator in the alleged gambling scheme that led to the lifetime banishment of former Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter from the NBA has turned himself in to authorities.

Ammar Awawdeh has been arrested for his involvement in the alleged scheme sparked by Porter’s desire to repay significant gambling debts. Porter was allegedly encouraged by Awawdeh and three other co-defendants to withdraw from certain games to cover his losses, according to a criminal complaint filed in a New York District Court. Awawdeh joins Long Phi Pham, Timothy McCormack, and Mahmud Mollah as co-defendants.

The group has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Awawdeh was arraigned on Friday and released after posting a $100,000 bond and is under home detention. McCormack and Mollah were also released after a $50,000 bond, while Pham is also under home detention with ankle monitoring after the 38-year-old posted a $750,000 bond.

Porter, who has yet to be charged, allegedly owed a significant debt while gambling illegally.

“Jontay is a good young man with strong faith that will get him through this,” attorney Jeff Jensen told the Associated Press. “He was in over his head due to a gambling addiction. He is undergoing treatment and has been fully cooperative with law enforcement.”

Details of Porter’s alleged scheme

According to the complaint, Awawdeh allegedly collaborated with the other three co-defendants to place wagers on the “under” player prop market for Porter after he notified the group of his intention to leave a Jan. 26 game against the Los Angeles Clippers early due to injury. Awawdeh allegedly suggested that Porter exit games early to settle his debts.

“If I don’t do a special with your terms. Then it’s up. And u hate me and if I don’t get u 8k by Friday you’re coming to Toronto to beat me up,” said Porter according to the complaint.

Porter, who was evaluated by a team doctor for a purported eye injury before the game, played only four minutes during the contest. Before the game, McCormack placed a $7,00 parlay wager on several “under” prop markets for Porter while a relative of Awawdeh placed a similar $10,000 parlay bet. The bets won due to Porter’s limited minutes with McCormack netting a $33,250 profit and Awawdeh’s relative winning $75,000.

The complaint also details alleged fraud during a March 20 game that Porter played in against the Sacramento Kings. Several days before the contest, Porter allegedly told family and team officials that he was suffering from food poisoning. Despite his alleged illness, Porter played on March 20 but notified the defendants that he would exit the game early.

The defendants allegedly met at a casino in Atlantic City to place bets ahead of the Kings game knowing Porter would leave the contest due to “illness.” The relative of Awawdeh allegedly transferred $65,000 to McCormack via PayPal ahead of the game before an attempt to transfer an additional $25,000 was denied. Geolocation data records from the casino also show a $66,900 deposit by Mollah into a sportsbook account on March 20.

McCormack would later place a $8,000 parlay wager on a Porter “under” market, which netted a $36,000 profit. Mollah bet over $100,000 on Porter and collected $1.1 million.

Monitoring systems do their job

Mollah’s sportsbook account was subsequently suspended due to the wagers being flagged as suspicious by the unnamed gambling operator. The sportsbook would then report the bets to the NBA and the International Betting Integrity Association. The NBA would then initiate an investigation, which led to Porter’s lifetime ban from the league.

“It’s cardinal sin what he’s accused of in the NBA and the ultimate extreme option I have is to ban him from the game,” said league commissioner Adam Silver following the probe.