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(DETROIT) -- Two Detroit area businessmen and six former University of Toledo athletes were indicted today by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of conspiracy to commit sports bribery, announced United States Attorney Terrence Berg. Additionally, six of the defendants were also charged with unlawful use of interstate facilities.
Berg was joined in the announcement by Andrew Arena, FBI Special Agent in Charge, for the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Charged in the indictment are: Ghazi Manni, age 52 of Sterling Heights, Michigan, Mitchell Edward Karam, age 76, of Troy, Michigan, Adam Ryan Cuomo, age 31, of Hagersville, Ontario, Canada, Keith Junior Triplett, age 29, of Toledo, Ohio, Anton Du'ane Currie, age 25, of Okemos, Michigan, Kashif Lashon Payne, age 24, of Chester, Pennsylvania, Harvey Lamont McDougle Jr. Age 24, of East Cleveland, Ohio, and Quinton James Broussard, age 25, of Carrollton, Texas
The 20-count indictment charges that between December 2004 and December 2006 Manni and Karam paid money, and other things of value, to University of Toledo athletes in order to influence, or attempt to influence, the final score of particular football and basketball games. Manni and Karam would then place bets on these games. The indictment alleges that between November 2005 and December 2006, Manni and Karam wagered approximately $407,500 on University of Toledo basketball games. The indictment alleges that the University of Toledo athletes involved in the point shaving scheme included football players Adam Ryan Cuomo, Harvey Lamont McDougle Jr., and Quinton James Broussard, along with basketball players Keith Junior Triplett, Anton Du'Ane Currie, and Keith Lashon Payne.
United States Attorney Berg stated, "Today's charges shine a light into the dark corner of illegal sports book-making and reveal the unfortunate consequences that the influence of money from betting can have on the integrity of both athletes and athletic contests."
Special Agent Arena stated, "This case is an example of how organized crime can influence intercollegiate athletics. These charges are an important step in maintaining the integrity of intercollegiate athletics and a message to the athletes who decide to participate in such activities. The FBI is committed to investigating organized crime matters as well as sport bribery allegations. The FBI would like to express our appreciation to the University of Toledo for their assistance in this case."
The penalty for conspiracy to commit sports bribery and for unlawful use of interstate facilities is imprisonment for not more than five (5) years and/or a $250,000.00 fine.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, United States Attorney -- Eastern District of Michigan