Sports Outside the Beltway

6 former Univ. of Toledo athletes charged with conspiracy

This comes less than a month after former running back Adam Cuomo admitted to being a key figure in a point shaving scheme. From AP-

University of Toledo officials have known for two years the bad news was coming. It finally struck Wednesday when six former players — three each from Toledo’s basketball and football programs, as well as two Detroit-area businessmen — were charged with conspiracy to commit sports bribery in an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

The 20-count indictment charges that between December 2004 and December 2006, Ghazi “Gary” Manni, 52, and Mitchell Karam, 76, paid money and other things of value to the athletes in order to influence, or attempt to influence, the final score of both football and basketball games. Though the money paid players was at times as little as $500, this is believed to be the first major gambling case involving two sports on a college campus.

Nothing in the indictment, however, details Manni and Karam placing wagers on football games. Instead, the indictment lists 17 specific games in which they placed bets on Toledo basketball contests, including the amounts wagered. The indictment also details 133 phone calls between Manni and those charged in the case.

Charged in the indictment, in addition to Manni and Karam, were Harvey “Scooter” McDougle Jr., 24, a former running back from Cleveland; Adam Cuomo, 31, a former running back from Hagersville, Ontario, Canada; Quinton Broussard, 25, a former running back from Carrollton, Texas; Keith Triplett, 29, a former basketball player from Toledo; Anton Currie, 25, a former basketball player from Okemos, Mich; and Kashif Payne, 24, a former basketball player from Chester, Pa.


The indictment filed Wednesday alleges Manni and Karam wagered approximately $407,500 on Toledo basketball and football games between November 2005 and December 2006. Both Mani and Karam, as well as jockey Ricardo Valdes, were also named in a separate indictment Wednesday that alleges they paid jockeys to influence the results of thoroughbred horse races at Tampa Bay Downs in Florida. Subsequently, the two allegedly used the simulcast pari-mutuel wagering system to place bets on the fixed races.

None of the school’s current athletes are believed to be involved in point shaving past or present. As I wrote a month ago, with all the money that is bet on collegiate sports these days, I’m surprised there haven’t been more cases like this.


Former Univ. of Toledo athlete admits point shaving role

Mr. Cuomo gives new meaning to multi-sports athlete.

Adam Cuomo, a former reserve running back at the University of Toledo, has admitted to being a key figure in an alleged point-shaving scheme involving both the men’s basketball and football teams at the school, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

The release this week of the complaint, originally filed under seal last August, comes as federal authorities move to wrap up a more than two-year investigation of gambling tied to Toledo. Authorities have told that the federal probe is focused on 52-year-old Ghazi [Gary] Manni, the manager of a family-owned grocery in Detroit, as well as suburban Detroit real estate investor Mitchell Karam.

Last summer, Sammy Villegas, a former Toledo basketball player, was charged with fixing games during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons, and is scheduled to be sentenced June 18. Previously, former Toledo running back Harvey “Scooter” McDougle was charged on a similar gambling offense, although that charge was later dropped on a procedural matter. Authorities haven’t ruled out the possibility that McDougle could be charged again, as well as additional former Toledo athletes.

Authorities allege the point-shaving scheme took place between the fall of 2003 and winter of 2006. None of the university’s current student-athletes is thought to be part of the illegal activity.

The latest name to surface is Cuomo, who was a 26-year-old senior during the 2003 football season. He had only six carries for 24 yards that fall, but authorities believe he was integral in assisting gamblers.

In light of how much money is gambled on college sports, I’m surprised there aren’t more Adam Cuomos out there. Maybe there are, they just haven’t been caught.


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