Richardson, a Former University of Arizona Men’s Basketball Coach, Pleaded Guilty to Accepting Cash Bribes in Return for Steering College Players on His Team to Corrupt Financial Advisers
Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that EMANUEL RICHARDSON, a/k/a “Book,” a former men’s basketball coach at the University of Arizona (“Arizona”), pled guilty in Manhattan federal court today to taking approximately $20,000 in cash bribes from athlete advisers in exchange for using his position to influence Arizona basketball players on his team to retain the services of the advisers paying the bribes. RICHARDSON pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said: “As he admitted in court today, Emanuel Richardson, a former Arizona men’s basketball coach, abused his position as a mentor and coach to student-athletes for his own personal gain. Richardson, entrusted to help players develop as athletes and young men, instead helped himself to the cash offered by unscrupulous agents and financial advisers.”
According to the Complaint, the Indictment, statements made in court and publicly available documents:
RICHARDSON, a former men’s basketball coach at Arizona, agreed to accept cash bribes in return for agreeing to exert his influence over student-athletes on Arizona’s Division I men’s basketball team to retain the services of the bribe-payers once the student-athletes entered the National Basketball Association (“NBA”).
Beginning in or around February 2017, and continuing into September 2017, when RICHARDSON was arrested, RICHARDSON received approximately $20,000 in cash bribes from current and aspiring financial advisers and/or managers for professional athletes in exchange for RICHARDSON’s agreement to exert his influence over certain student-athletes RICHARDSON coached at Arizona to retain the services of the bribe payers once those players entered the NBA. For example, in discussing his commitment to steering Arizona players to retain the bribe payers upon entering the NBA, RICHARDSON told an undercover FBI agent and others, during a recorded meeting, “I used to let kids talk to three or four guys, but I was like, why would you do that? You know that’s like taking a kid to a BMW dealer, a Benz dealer, and a Porsche dealer. They like them all . . . You have to pick for them.” In return for the cash bribes RICHARDSON received, RICHARDSON facilitated a meeting between the bribe payers and a relative of a player attending Arizona for the purpose of pressuring that player to retain the financial services of the bribe payers.
In addition to today’s plea, Anthony Bland, a/k/a “Tony,” a former men’s basketball coach at the University of Southern California, previously pled guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Government, in connection with this scheme. Munish Sood, a financial adviser, also previously pled guilty, pursuant to a cooperation agreement with the Government, in connection with this scheme
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RICHARDSON, 46 years old, of Tucson, Arizona, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bribery. As a condition of his plea, RICHARDSON agreed to forfeit $20,000. The charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by a judge. Sentencing is scheduled for April 24, 2019, before Judge Ramos.
Mr. Berman praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Special Agents of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
The case is being handled by the Office’s Public Corruption Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Boone, Noah Solowiejczyk, and Eli J. Mark are in charge of the prosecution.