Co-conspirator tied to Jontay Porter gambling scandal arrested trying to leave country

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Detroit Pistons

Former Toronto Raptor Jontay Porter has been banned for life from the NBA, but the gambling case that led to his banishment is still active and led to an arrest of one of the people who allegedly bet big on Porter “prop unders” as part of the scam.

Long Phi Pham, better known by his nickname “Bruce,” was arrested Monday at John F. Kennedy Airport as he attempted to board a flight to Australia with a one-way ticket. The U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest saying Phi Pham conspired with others to defraud a sports betting company.

“Whether on the court or in the casino, every point matters. As alleged, the defendant and his co-conspirators, as well as an NBA player, participated in a brazen, illegal betting scheme that had a corrupting influence on two games and numerous bets,” Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a statement announcing the arrest. “This prosecution serves as a warning that fraud and dishonesty in professional sports will not be tolerated and those who engage in this flagrant flouting of the law will be prosecuted.”

The DOJ mentions two specific situations involving Phi Phan, which tie to games that were at the heart of why Porter was banned from the NBA:

• On Jan 26, there was a spike in bets on Porter’s prop unders — suggesting he would score below a certain number of points, or grab fewer than a certain number of rebounds — when the Raptors played the Clippers. Porter played just four minutes in that game before saying he couldn’t continue due to a re-aggravation of an eye injury.

• On March 20, Porter allegedly told someone he knew to be a big NBA bettor he was not feeling well, which would limit how much Porter played that night. Again, there was a spike on Porter prop under bets, including an $80,000 parlay prop to win $1.1 million. Porter played three minutes in that game then left claiming an illness.

The DOJ also said that on April 4, Porter texted Phi Phan and the other conspirators — three of whom remain at large — that they “might just get hit with a RICO,” a reference to federal racketeering charges. Porter allegedly asked if the alleged conspirators had “delete[d] all the stuff” from their personal phones.