On Tuesday, U.S. prosecutors in Manhattan filed additional charges in a case involving bribery in college basketball. Prosecutors have accused an executive working for Adidas AG of offering money to American high school basketball players, in exchange for them attending North Carolina State University and the University of Kansas, which are schools the company sponsors.
James Gatto, who is the Adidas executive named in the indictment, was previously arrested in September for bribing high school basketball players to attend the University of Miami and the University of Louisville, which are two other schools Adidas sponsors. Tuesday’s charges were made in a superseding indictment, which were unsealed in New York federal court.
Merl Code, who is a consultant working for Adidas, was also charged of brbery in the cases relating to the University of Miami and the University of Louisville, and so was Christian Dawkins, who had bern working at a sports management company,
In response to the original indictment, the 3 defendants pleaded innocent to charges of conspiracy. The three have subsequently been charged with wire fraud as well. None of the attorneys representing the 3 defendants have yet to make comments. Nor has Adidas commented.
However, Joe Monaco — who is a spokesperson for the University of Kansas — has said that the school will fully cooperate with authorities. He further made note of the fact that the indictment does not accuse the university — or any of its employees — of any wrongdoing. At the same time, a spokesperson for the University of Louisville refused to comment, and the two other schools named in the indictments were unable to be reached.
According to the new indictment, in 2015 Gatto attempted to transfer $40,000 to the parents of a high school basketball player, as enducement for the player to enroll at North Carolina State University. The government further alleges that the player also agreed to sign an endorsement deal with Adidas upon his entry into the National Basketball Association, if such a thing were to occur. The payment was said to be made through a coach at the university, though this person was not named in the indictment.
Prosecutors also assert that Gatto in 2016 further tried to transfer $90,000 to the mother of a player, to induce this player to attend the University of Kansas and eventually sign an endorsement deal with Adidas once he became a professional.