May 6, 2009

Indictments issued in Toledo scandal

Eight people, including six former Toledo Rockets student-athletes, were charged Wednesday with conspiracy to commit sports bribery, federal authorities said.

ESPN reported three players each from the university's football and basketball programs, as well as Detroit businessmen Ghazi Gary Manni and Mitchell Karam, were named in a 20-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

The cable sports network added that school officials have known for two years the bad news was coming.

The indictment charge Manni, 52, and Karam, 76, of paying money and other things to the athletes to influence, or attempt to influence, the final score of both football and basketball games.

It alleges Manni and Karam wagered about $407,500 on Toledo basketball and football games between November 2005 and December 2006.

Today's charges shine a light into the dark corner of illegal sports bookmaking and reveals the unfortunate consequences that the influence of money from betting can have on the integrity of both athletes and athletic contests, said U.S. Attorney Terrence Berg.