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Ref sentenced in NBA gambling scandal

July 29, 2008 9:29:11 AM PDT
Disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in prison Tuesday after pleading guilty last year to taking thousands of dollars in payoffs from a professional gambler for inside betting tips The sentencing of Donaghy closes a chapter in a scandal that convulsed the NBA, which has angrily denied Donaghy's claim that corruption among referees runs deeper.

Donaghy pleaded guilty last August to conspiracy to engage in wire fraud and transmitting betting information through interstate commerce.

Last week, two of Donaghy's former high school classmates, James Battista and Thomas Martino, were sentenced to 15 months and one year, respectively, for their roles in the scheme.

Donaghy, 41, had faced up to 33 months in prison.

The court ordered the three men to pay restitution to the NBA totaling approximately $217,000.

"Though we believe no sentence would ever be able to repair or justify the damage caused by this criminal and scoundrel, we are glad to finally put this behind us," said Lamell McMorris, spokesperson for the National Basketball Referees Association.

Donaghy also was sentenced to a three-year term of supervised release, on the condition that he receive mental health treatment for his gambling addiction.

Donaghy's defense attorney asked that Donaghy be sent to a federal prison camp in Florida, near his family.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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