Referee allegedly fixing games


Registered Member
July 20, 2007 -- THE FBI is investigating an NBA referee who allegedly was betting on basketball games - including ones he was officiating during the past two seasons - as part of an organized-crime probe in the Big Apple, The Post has learned.

The investigation, which began more than a year ago, is zeroing in on blockbuster allegations that the referee was making calls that affected the point spread to guarantee that he - and the hoods who had their hooks in him - cashed in on large bets.
Federal agents are set to arrest the referee and a cadre of mobsters and their associates who lined their pockets, sources said.
"These are dangerous people [the referee] was involved with," a source said.
One source close to the probe counted the number of games on which the ref and his wiseguy buddies scored windfalls in the "double digits."
NBA Commissioner David Stern is aware of the investigation and has a report about the referee on his desk, another source said.
The official, whose name was withheld, allegedly wagered on games during the 2005-06 and 2006-07 NBA seasons.
James Margolin, an FBI spokesman, declined comment on the latest black eye for professional sports.
The sources indicated the referee apparently had a gambling problem, slipped into debt and fell prey to mob thugs.
"That's how he got himself into this predicament" by wagering with mob-connected bookies, one source said.
Professional basketball has remained largely unscathed by allegations of game-fixing, although college basketball has been rocked by several scandals involving point-shaving by players, but not officials.
One of the most recent was a Boston College point-shaving scam arranged in the 1980s by mobster Henry Hill, who bribed several players. Hill later became a government informant, and his life was depicted in the movie "GoodFellas."
Having a referee in their pockets provides a two-fold bonanza to game fixers.
Gamblers would be able to directly cash in by betting on games where they knew the point spread was compromised.
But having a ref in their pocket could prove even more lucrative to crooks in a bookmaking syndicate.
Bookmakers hope to encourage an equal amount of betting on each team and make their money on the "vigorish," which is typically 10 percent of a losing bet.
But armed with the inside information, the bookmaking syndicate could set an artificial point spread that would encourage large "layoff" bets from other bookies carrying too much action on one team, that were likely now to lose.
An FBI organized-crime squad in the bureau's flagship New York office is handling the case, but the referee traveled the country officiating various games on which he allegedly bet.
It was not determined which games were allegedly affected by the referee's actions, or how much money may have been won by him and his cohorts. The FBI got wind of the scheme while conducting a separate mob investigation.

Shocking news to me even though I can understand it isn't to some. I never blamed the refs on fixing the Mavs-Heat finals, I just thought they officiated like crap and fell in love with Wade a bit. Still wouldn't it be way too risky to fix the NBA Finals as opposed to insignificant regular season games? This theory is very realistic in my opinion, unlike the theory that David Stern tells the refs who he wants to win.


Aw, Here It Goes!
Mark Cuban is gonna love this, after his Don Nelson conspiriacy theory. He'll problably say this is why his Mavs lost the finals and some other insane reasons.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
I was really shock when I read this headline this morning, this is the worst thing for the NBA right now, Stern rather have Shaq be stuck like Michael Vick with the dog scandal then have this happening to the league. This referee is suppose to turn himself within the next week. Also supposely this ref was involve with big mobsters and some bad people, so the referre is going to be careful that he doesn't mention any names, or bad things can happen to his family.


I wouldn't be surprised if this was a "fall guy" for the other bundles of corruption that occurs in teh NBA. look at all the pathetic calls, especially in the 06 finals. We could see some serious fallout occur if he TALKs looking for a lesser court sentence.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
New York Daily News -
Federal authorities believe the referee at the center of the betting and game-fixing probe rocking the NBA will cooperate with investigators - and possibly name other officials or players involved in the scandal, law enforcement sources told The New York Daily News.

Saddled with large gambling debts, Tim Donaghy allegedly used mobbed-up bookies to place thousands of dollars in bets on games over the past two seasons, including contests he officiated, the sources said.

Two of the bookies are expected to be arrested this week after Donaghy, who has resigned from the NBA, surrenders to authorities in New York as early as Tuesday, the sources said.

New details of the growing scandal emerged yesterday and painted a troubling picture of the 40-year-old Donaghy. The so-called family man, who hid his frightening temper and shady associates from public view, has been arrested twice for erratic and threatening behavior.

Sources told The New York Daily News that federal authorities first heard Donaghy's name on a wiretap during investigations into the Gambino crime family over the past year.

A Philadelphia wiseguy wanna-be is believed to have threatened to use his contacts in the Gambino family to hurt Donaghy if the ref - already known as a heavy gambler - did not share inside information and help fix games, sources said.

That gangster also claimed he would expose Donaghy's serious debts if he did not cooperate with the bookies, who allegedly won thousands of dollars with the referees' help, sources said. -
Police staked out former NBA referee Tim Donaghy's home after he received two telephone threats following disclosure that the FBI is investigating him for betting on games he worked.

Both calls seemed to come from the same unidentified caller, Manatee County Sheriff's Office spokesman Randy Warren said.

"There is reason for us to keep an eye on his place and follow up," he said.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
Two sources close to the situation insisted to on Monday night that Tim Donaghy's affinity for various forms of gambling -- if not specifically the claim that he was attempting to manipulate point spreads with his whistle the past two seasons -- was known in the league office for some time.

One source wondered aloud Monday whether the FBI might have insisted that the NBA let Donaghy keep working to preserve the larger sting operation, suggesting that suspending him before the playoffs would have cost them the crime-ring types originally being targeted.
I found this story through a sports blog I frequent.

"In the two seasons in which the FBI is investigating Donaghy for allegedly fixing games for gambling purposes, Bell found that NBA teams scored more points than Las Vegas expected (hitting the over) 57 percent of the time when Donaghy was part of the officiating crew. With a league average of 49 to 51 percent, the odds of such an occurrence are 19 to 1."



Registered Member
Stern said in a press conference that he knew about Donaghy's actions on June 20th and Donaghy resigned on July 9th. Nothing wrong with that if terminating him earlier was going to interfere with the investigation.

"In the two seasons in which the FBI is investigating Donaghy for allegedly fixing games for gambling purposes, Bell found that NBA teams scored more points than Las Vegas expected (hitting the over) 57 percent of the time when Donaghy was part of the officiating crew. With a league average of 49 to 51 percent, the odds of such an occurrence are 19 to 1."
Damn, that's interesting. So you could say he fixed about 7% out of the 151 games in which he officiated. That's 10 or 11 games!!:eek:hmy:


The return shall be legenday!
The NBA is down playing his actions way too much. This is more serious then there leading us to think. I was discusted when I found out about this. This situation is going to become even worst especially if he starts naming other referees involve is this conspiracy. To be honest with you I knew that the referees where doing alot of bad calls in the last 2 years but I never thought it was because they were throwing games because of gambling. Hopefully Tim Donaghy is the only one involved.