The Department of Justice announced Tuesday evening the arrest of Long Phi Pham, commonly known as “Bruce,” in connection with the high-profile sports betting scandal involving former Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter. Porter was banned for life from the NBA in April for his involvement in the scheme.

Although the DOJ’s statement did not explicitly name Porter, the details match the information released by the NBA regarding Porter’s ban. Pham is charged with conspiring to defraud a sports betting company by placing bets based on insider information from Porter about his participation in games on January 26 and March 20, 2024.

Pham was apprehended on Monday as he attempted to flee to Australia. He is currently detained and awaiting trial. The DOJ also noted that three other co-conspirators remain at large.

The scheme involved Porter being “encouraged” not to play in the January 26 game to settle his gambling debts. Porter played only four minutes and scored no points, thereby meeting the “under” in prop bets. Porter had informed Pham beforehand that he would remove himself from the game. A relative of one co-conspirator bet $10,000 and won $85,000 by betting the under on Porter’s prop bets.

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Ahead of the March 20 game, Pham discussed with his co-conspirators the plan for Porter to again take himself out early. They placed bets in Atlantic City, intending to split the profits, which totaled over $1 million from both games.

Further implicating evidence includes a text message Porter sent to Pham and others on April 4, expressing concern about potential legal repercussions, “might just get hit [with] a rico,” referencing racketeering charges. Porter also urged the conspirators to delete all related information from their phones.

Porter received a lifetime ban on April 17 after the NBA concluded he was guilty of “disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games.” The investigation revealed that Porter had shared confidential health status information with a known sports bettor, prompting several suspicious prop bets. Licensed sports betting operators reported this unusual activity, triggering the league’s investigation.

Porter also placed at least 13 bets on NBA games through an associate’s online betting account between January and March 2024, betting a total of $54,094 and netting $21,965 in profit. Although none of these bets were on games he played in, some included the Raptors in multi-game parlays, with one bet predicting a Toronto loss.

As of now, Porter faces no further legal repercussions beyond the NBA’s lifetime ban. The investigation continues as authorities seek to apprehend the remaining co-conspirators.

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