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Report: Bet Making Basketball Ref will plead guilty

New York, NY (Sports Network) – Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy, who is under investigation by the FBI for allegedly betting on and fixing games that he worked during the past two seasons, will reportedly plead guilty to federal charges on Wednesday.

Donaghy has been under scrutiny for an alleged gambling scam that reportedly involved members of the organized crime community in New York.

The New York Post reported Donaghy is expected to show up before Brooklyn federal court Judge Carol Amon on the gambling charges. The Post also reported federal law enforcement officials were expected to lock up two of Donaghy’s alleged accomplices, reputed bookie James Battista and high school friend Thomas Martino.

NBA commissioner David Stern spoke at length last month about the allegations. According to Stern’s timeline, the league was notified of the investigation, and Donaghy’s alleged involvement, on June 20 and could not take action without hindering the process. Donaghy then resigned on July 9, 11 days before the story broke in a Post report on July 20.

Stern said during the last two seasons Donaghy refereed 139 regular-season games, eight playoff games and four preseason games.

Stern refuted reports that said the league knew of Donaghy’s betting activities this season and still allowed him to work. He said there was league knowledge of a prior incident Donaghy had in a dispute with a neighbor while he lived in Pennsylvania.

The dispute, according to Stern, occurred in January of 2005 and the league was unhappy with the issue. Donaghy was unable to work playoff games that season as punishment and he soon moved to Florida because Stern said the league threatened the official’s job if the problem had persisted.

Stern also said there were allegations of Donaghy gambling in Atlantic City, something from which officials are prohibited by the NBA. An investigation into those allegations came up negative.

Gambling of any kind, other than horse racing in the offseason, is prohibited for NBA officials.

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