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Monday, June 17, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

College Sports Bribery|Indictment Unsealed

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A former assistant coach at the University of San Diego and two former USD basketball players are among 10 people charged with conspiring to commit sports bribery and running an illegal sports bookmaking service. Federal prosecutors unsealed the indictment Monday.

The defendants also are charged with dealing marijuana.

"The indictment alleges that the defendants enriched themselves by operating an illegal sports bookmaking business and distributing marijuana, and with their criminal proceeds, conspired to bribe National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I college basketball players to alter the outcome of games so that the defendants could profit by betting on the games at Las Vegas, Nevada casinos," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Former USD player Brandon Johnson is charged with taking a bribe to influence the outcome of a game in February 2010. Branson also is accused of soliciting someone else in January this year to affect the outcome of USD games.

Former USD assistant basketball coach Thaddeus Brown and a player he coached, Brandon Dowdy, are also charged. Brown coached at USD during the 2006-07 season, during which Dowdy was a USD player. Dowdy played at UC-Riverside from 2008 to 2010. Both men are accused of soliciting someone else in February this year to affect the outcome of a basketball game at UCR.

Defendants Steve Warda Goria, Paul Joseph Thweni and Richard Garmo, all residents of San Diego County, are accused of organizing the criminal schemes, including the sports bribery scheme involving Johnson, Brown, and Dowdy.

The three other defendants are accused of helping Goria, Thweni and Garmo by managing sports books, collecting gambling debts, and distributing marijuana. The profits from these crimes financed the college basketball bribery scheme, prosecutors said.

Here are the defendants: Steve Warda Goria Age: 32 Chula Vista, CA

Paul Joseph Thweni, 26, of Chula Vista

Richard Francis Garmo, 32, of El Cajon

Thaddeus James Brown, 32, of El Cajon

Brandon Johnson, 24, of Houston

Richard Thweni, 28, of El Cajon

David Gates, 34, no home town given

Lilian Goria, 38, of El Cajon

Brandon Lamar Dowdy, 22, of San Diego

Jake Salter, 23, of Garberville.

The 1-count indictment of conspiracy to commit sports bribery, conduct an illegal gambling business, and distribute marijuana is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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