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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

SoCal Man Gets 2½ Years for Sport Bribery

SAN DIEGO (CN) - A 28-year-old man was sentenced Thursday to 2½ years in federal prison for conspiring to bribe a University of San Diego basketball player to influence the outcome of games.

Paul Joseph Thweni was one of 10 people charged with "enrich(ing) themselves by operating an illegal sports gambling business and by distributing marijuana," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

"Using proceeds from those crimes, Thweni and his co-conspirators influenced the outcome of basketball games at the University of San Diego (USD) during the 2009-2010 season, and then attempted to recruit players to do the same during the 2010-2011 season."

Thweni and his co-conspirators "bribed co-defendant Brandon Johnson to influence the outcome of basketball games during the 2009-2010 season while Johnson was a member of USD's basketball team," prosecutors said. "The co-conspirators then profited by placing bets at Las Vegas casinos on games Johnson influenced. Co-defendant Steve Goria, who was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment in October 2012, admitted that the conspiracy made more than $120,000 from the game-fixing scheme."

Thweni, of Spring Valley, pleaded guilty on Aug. 2, 2012.

He was ordered to report to prison on April 19.

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