NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge has refused to impose bail for an Adidas representative embroiled in a bribery scandal that’s thrown college basketball into turmoil.
Prosecutors in federal court in Manhattan urged Judge Katherine Parker on Thursday to make James Gatto post $100,000 bond to keep his freedom. The judge instead continued the no-bail conditions set at an initial court appearance for Gatto following his arrest last month in Oregon.
Michael Schachter, an attorney for Gatto, argued that prosecutors’ portrayal of his client as a “high-level executive” at Adidas was misleading because it suggested he’s wealthy.
“Nothing can be further from the truth,” Schachter said, adding that his client is a married father of two who makes $139,000 a year as a marketing director.
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Lamont Evans, an assistant coach at Oklahoma State who was fired after being charged in the case, was freed on $100,000 bond Thursday after appearing in the same courtroom.
Both men and eight others were charged last month in an alleged scheme to bribe assistant coaches in exchange for steering top-flight NBA prospects to a particular agent or financial adviser.
Prosecutors accused the 47-year-old Gatto of conspiring with the coaches and others to funnel payments to top basketball prospects and their families to win their commitments to play at colleges sponsored by Adidas and to sign with the sports label once they left. The family of one high school player allegedly was given $100,000 to commit, according to court papers.
The papers didn’t name the school or the recruit. But they contained enough details to identify the college as the University of Louisville and the player as Brian Bowen, a freshman on the Cardinals roster this year.
The day after federal authorities announced the arrests, Louisville placed head coach Rick Pitino on administrative leave until the investigation is resolved. Pitino has said he’s shocked by the allegations.