Former USD hoops star sentenced to 6 months in prison
(CNS) – A former University of San Diego star basketball
player who admitted his role in a game-fixing scheme was sentenced Friday to six
months in federal prison.
Brandon Johnson, 26, was ordered to report for custody May 31 in
Houston, where he lives.
Prosecutors recommended a one-year prison sentence, while Johnson's
attorney, Oliver Cleary, urged U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia to
sentence Johnson to probation with no custody.
Johnson pleaded guilty in November to a conspiracy charge, admitting
that he unsuccessfully solicited another USD basketball player to participate
in the game-fixing scheme. Johnson has maintained that he never personally
threw any games at his alma mater.
According to court records, Johnson — USD's all-time leading scorer in
men's basketball — was a willing accomplice in the game-fixing scheme, making
$5,000 to $10,000 to manipulate approximately four games.
Phone conversations secretly recorded by the FBI have Johnson saying
he'd be willing to throw “every game.”
Following his arrest in April 2011, Johnson told agents that he knew the
point spreads of games and admitted receiving several thousand dollars from
bettors afterward, but denied throwing any games.
The three primary defendants in the case — Steve Goria, Richard Garmo
and Paul Thweni — all admitted bribing Johnson to fix USD games during the