Pennsylvania Resident Charged For Betting In Jontay Porter Scandal

Pennsylvania Resident Charged For Betting In Jontay Porter Scandal

 

Mahmud Mollah, a resident of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, has been arrested on federal wire fraud charges in the NBA betting scandal that banned Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter from the league for life. 

Pennsylvania resident Mahmud Mollah is one of four men arrested on wire fraud charges related to sports betting

A criminal complaint published on Thursday confirmed Mahmud Mollah to be a Lansdale resident. Mollah, along with another New York man, Timothy McCormack, were both charged — joining Long Phi Pham and a fourth whose name remains redacted in a court complaint.

The federal wire fraud case pertains to wagers based on tips received from Porter about his plans to exit two games early. 

Brooklyn federal prosecutors declined to comment on whether Porter is under investigation. While Porter has not been named in the case, “Player 1” is presumed to be his identity in court documents. 

Prosecutors say McCormack, Mollah, Pham, and the unnamed fourth defendant participated in a scheme to get “Player 1” to take himself off the court so that they could win bets against his performance.

Although Mollah is a Pennsylvania resident, he did not use any of the state’s online sportsbooks. He placed the wagers involving Porter — including an $80,000 parlay bet — at a casino in Atlantic City, according to sources.

Porter left two games early — on Jan. 26 and March 20 — claiming injury or illness. According to the criminal complaint, Mollah does not appear to be involved in the Jan. 26 game.

Though, Mollah’s participation came to light before and during the March 20 game. 

Porter communicated to Mollah, Pham, and McCormack that he would remove himself from NBA games early 

Prior to the NBA matchup, Porter communicated to Mollah, Pham, and McCormack that he would remove himself from the game as the four agreed to a betting sharing system.

The complaint said Pham, Porter, and the unnamed defendant were each supposed to receive a 25% cut of those winnings. McCormack had also agreed to a 4% cut.

Porter played four minutes and 24 seconds against the Los Angeles Clippers in that game. The forward left after claiming he had aggravated an eye problem. 

Additionally, Porter ended his performance with zero points, three rebounds, and one assist. Since sportsbooks projected larger numbers, this meant anyone who bet the “under” would have won their bets.

Video surveillance shows the three men meeting at an Atlantic City casino. The bets were reportedly made through DraftKings, identified in the complaint only as “Betting Company 1.”

Mollah placed multiple bets on Porter 

At 7:24 p.m. ET on game day, Mollah placed the first of multiple bets on Porter after depositing $66,900 into his account. He made the following wagers: 

  • $80,000 parlay on Porter’s under for points, assists, rebounds, three-pointers, steals and blocks, racking up $1.04 million 
  • $10,000 on Porter’s under for assists, netting a profit of $32,000 
  • Three separate $500 parlays, making a profit of $20,000 
  • $9,400 parlay on Porter’s under for points, assists and blocks, netting a profit of $35,250 
  • Two separate $500 parlays on Porter’s points, assists, rebounds and blocks, netting a profit of $4,375 

Mollah won over $1.3 million after placing bets on the March 20 game, according to the complaint. 

When the NBA first launched its investigation, Porter warned Pham, Mollah, and the unnamed defendant via an encrypted messaging app that they “might just get hit w a rico,” referring to a federal racketeering charge. 

Then, Porter asked whether they had deleted “all the stuff” from their phones, according to the complaint. 

On April 10, the unidentified man sent the following text to Mollah: 

“I really need you to hound [Betting Company 1]. At least get me back my principle $.” 

The complaint says that text indicates the unidentified man provided Mollah with the cash to wager.

McCormack, 36, and Mollah, 24, were granted $50,000 bond each after their arraignments Thursday. In Pennsylvania, a second-degree felony charge for wire fraud carries up to a 10-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine. 

The Associated Press reported that a judge agreed Wednesday to release Pham to home detention and electronic monitoring on $750,000 bond. 

Pham, a 38-year-old Brooklyn resident, remained in custody Thursday as paperwork and other details were finalized.

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