DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A point-shaving trial in Detroit involving alleged crimes by University of Toledo athletes has been pushed into 2014.
The reason for the latest delay? Detroit-area businessman Ghazi Manni has a new lawyer, and he needs time to prepare.
Manni is accused of bribing Toledo players from 2004 to 2006 while placing bets on games. Former Toledo basketball players Anton Currie, Kashif Payne and Keith Triplett are facing trial along with Manni.
The October trial has been moved to Feb. 18 in Detroit federal court. The case was filed nearly five years ago.
Four former Rockets and businessman Mitchell “Ed” Karam have pleaded guilty in the case, but have not received their sentences.
The government says Karam and Manni bet more than $300,000 on basketball games. Karam split the bribes – money, gifts, groceries and other favors – with Manni, according to his plea agreement. No dollar amount was disclosed.
Three former running backs, Adam Cuomo, Harvey “Scooter” McDougle Jr. and Quinton Broussard, pleaded guilty in 2011. Broussard said he intentionally fumbled against Texas-El Paso in the 2005 GMAC Bowl. Former basketball player Sammy Villegas pleaded guilty in 2008.
Before being indicted in 2009, Manni told the Toledo Blade in September 2007 that he didn’t expect to ever be federally charged for taking part in a point-shaving scheme involving the Toledo athletes.
“If the FBI had any evidence against me, they already would’ve snatched [me] up,” Manni said at the time.
The government says their evidence includes secretly recorded phone calls.
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