Former Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter pleads guilty to illegal betting

NEW YORK — Former Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter pleaded guilty Wednesday to a single count of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a gambling scheme that cost him his NBA career.

Porter, in a dark suit and tie, said "guilty" when asked by a federal magistrate in Brooklyn how he pleaded to the charge and admitted he withdrew from games so he and others could benefit from electronic bets placed on how he would perform.

"I knew what I did was wrong and unlawful and I'm deeply sorry for my conduct," Porter said.

An NBA investigation found Porter placed more than a dozen bets on basketball games, including in which he bet the Raptors would lose. He received a lifetime ban from the league in April.

The wire fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison but the former Toronto Raptors player agreed not to appeal anything less than five years. Porter will also be required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and restitution.

His lawyer said Porter became addicted to gambling and had amassed large gambling debts.

Porter was encouraged by his accomplices to clear those debts by withdrawing from certain games prematurely to make sure bets on his performance were successful, prosecutors say.

A league investigation found he tipped off other gamblers about his health and then falsely claimed he was sick so he could stop playing in at least one game, creating a windfall for those gamblers who placed parlor bets that he would underperform.

Four others have been charged by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Porter's sentencing is set for Dec.18, 2024. The former NBA player was released on a $250,000 bond co-signed by his wife and his mother, both of whom were in the courtroom.

The judge instructed Porter to have no contact with four co-conspirators who have been charged in the case.

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