NEW YORK — A federal grand jury in New York City has returned indictments against four assistant college basketball coaches charged in a bribery scheme, including longtime Arizona Wildcats assistant Emanuel “Book” Richardson.
The grand jury returned the indictments Tuesday against eight of 10 men arrested in September.
Richardson is facing charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, solicitation of bribes by an agent of a federally funded organization, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud conspiracy and travel act conspiracy. If convicted, Sean Miller’s longest-tenured assistant could serve as long as 60 years in prison and pay up to $1.5 million in fines.
Richardson has been on paid leave since Sept. 26, the day he was arrested. UA officials have announced plans to terminate him, though Richardson is planning an appeal.
In documents that led to Richardson’s arrest, federal prosecutors detailed a scheme involving a sports agent, a money manager, the UA assistant and current and future Wildcats.
Richardson asked for and received bribes from sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial advisor Munish Sood, most of which he used to land a verbal commitment from New Jersey point guard Jahvon Quinerly, documents say. In exchange, Richardson promised to influence current Wildcats to sign with Dawkins and Sood as pros, documents say.
The other assistant coaches charged were Chuck Person, 53, of Auburn, Tony Bland, 37, of USC and Lamont Evans, 40, of Oklahoma State. After their arrests, Person and Evans were suspended and Bland was placed on administrative leave.
The time to return an indictment was extended for a month for two defendants: Sood and Brad Augustine, the AAU program director who stepped down. In late October, prosecutors said in court papers that it was continuing discussions with lawyers for Sood and Augustine to bring about a possible deal before indictment.
Craig Mordock, an attorney for Richardson, said “this is really pushing the envelope of what constitutes a crime.”
He added: “An indictment is another step in the process. But once again, Emanuel Richardson is not guilty.”
The charges and accusations in three indictments largely mirrored the facts found in criminal complaints filed against the men when they were arrested in late September. An indictment, though a procedural step, is a document prosecutors rely upon at trial.