Jontay Porter pleads guilty in gambling scheme that got him banned for life from NBA

Jontay Porter, who was given a lifetime ban from the NBA due to gambling, has pleaded guilty for his role in the scheme that led to his punishment.

Porter pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and faces over four years in jail.

In court Wednesday, Porter said he agreed to withdraw early from games to get out from under large gambling debts so he and co-conspirators could win bets on his performance. 

“I know what I did was wrong, unlawful, and I am deeply sorry,” he said.

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Court papers showed the case against Porter is related to an ongoing prosecution of four other men. The four have been arraigned on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud but haven’t yet entered any pleas.

Porter received a lifetime ban on April 17 after the NBA found in an investigation that he had disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and bet on games in violation of league rules. The NBA prohibits players from betting on the league or any of its properties.

The league said an investigation discovered before “the [Toronto] Raptors’ March 20 game, [Jontay] disclosed confidential information about his own health status to an individual he knew to be an NBA bettor.”

“Another individual with whom Porter associated and known to be an NBA bettor subsequently placed an $80,000 parlay proposition bet with an online sports book, to win $1.1 million, wagering [Porter] would underperform in the March 20 game.” 

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He only played three minutes in the March 20 game, claiming to have been sick. The $80,000 prop bet was frozen and not paid out.

The NBA said it found that, from January to March of this year, while Jontay was either with the Raptors or its G League team, Raptors 905, he placed “at least 13 bets on NBA games using an associate’s betting account.”

Porter’s lawyer, Jeff Jensen, said last month that Porter had been “in over his head due to a gambling addiction” but was getting treatment and cooperating with law enforcement.

Porter also gambled on NBA games in which he didn’t play, once betting against his own team, the league said.

According to the complaint, one of the four men pressed the player to clear up gambling debts by prematurely pulling out of games so that bets on him underperforming would pay off.

Since the scandal, the NBA has reportedly held meetings regarding how to combat another, including nixing “under” proposition bets from sportsbooks.

Sentencing is Dec. 18. He’s also likely to be assessed hundreds of thousands of dollars in restitution, plus potential fines.

One of Porter’s brothers, Coban, began serving a six-year sentence in April for a fatal DUI crash. Another brother, Michael, is a mainstay with the Denver Nuggets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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