Brooklyn man arrested in sports betting scheme with banned NBA player Jontay Porter

A Brooklyn man was busted for allegedly teaming up with a former Toronto Raptors forward — who was banned for life for sports gambling — to place bets on games he knew the disgraced NBA player was going to throw, the feds said Tuesday.

Long Phi Pham, 38, also known as “Bruce,” was nabbed Monday while trying to board a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Australia on a one-way ticket, according to a complaint filed in Brooklyn federal court.

Former Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter received a lifetime ban from the NBA for betting on games earlier this year. AP

He is accused of working with Jontay Porter, 24, to place “prop bets” — also known as a proposition, or a wager placed on a player’s performance, like betting on the over or under of a certain statistical category such as points or rebounds.

Federal prosecutors allege that Porter had racked up large gambling debts in the beginning of the year to co-conspirators, and was encouraged to clear those debts by throwing games in order for certain bets to hit.

In this case, Porter, a journeyman between the Raptors and their G-League affiliate, allegedly told Pham that he was going to take himself out early from the Jan. 26 game against the Los Angeles Clippers, claiming he was injured, the feds said.

Porter played just four minutes in the game and recorded a zero points, three rebounds and one assist before leaving with a purported eye injury, and a co-conspirator in the case placed a parlay prop bet, cashing in on a $10,000 wager by betting the under on each of those statistical categories, according to the complaint.

The disgraced NBA player allegedly communicated with the group of co-conspirators through the Telegram group chat app when he notified them before another game — this time on March 20 against the Sacramento Kings — claiming that going to say he was sick to leave a game early.

An image taken from Pham’s phone of co-conspirators sitting together at the restaurant of an Atlantic City casino on March 20. U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York

Pham and others allegedly agreed to share profits from their winnings with Porter before they placed several bets on his performance at a casino in Atlantic City.

Porter then bowed out of the game due to illness after just three minutes, recording zero points, three rebounds and zero assists — which netted Pham and his co-conspirators over $1 million in profits, the feds charge.

The scheme was devised of prop bets, also known as a proposition — which is a wager placed on a player’s performance, like betting on the over or under of a certain statistical category like points or rebounds. NBAE via Getty Images

Later, on April 4, the same day that Porter was banned for life from basketball for betting on games, he allegedly texted the group chat and told them that they “might just get hit w a rico” — referring to a racketeering charge — before asking them if they “delete[d] all the stuff” from their personal cell phones.

During its investigation, the NBA said that Porter — the brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr. — placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using someone else’s account, with bets ranging between $15 to $22,000.

The league found that Porter was “disclosing confidential information to sports better” and “limiting his own participation in one of more games for betting purposes.”

The allegations against Porter, who is not identified in Pham’s complaint, match the description of “Player 1” in the court documents.

The feds are looking for three additional people who remain at-large.

Pham tried hightailing it out of the country by booking a one-way ticket to Australia a day after the government tried questioning him, the complaint said.

He was collared at JFK with a bag stuffed with $12,000 cash, two cashier checks worth $80,000 and several betting slips, according to the complaint.

Pham was arraigned on wire fraud charges Tuesday and faces up to 20 years in prison.

A bail hearing for Pham has been set for Wednesday.

Pham’s attorney, Michael Soshnick, did not immediately return a request for comment.

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