College Basketball Fraud Charges

Book Richardson could serve 60 years in prison and pay up to $1.5 million in fines if he’s convicted.

Larry Neumeister / AP Photo

Emanuel “Book” Richardson is scheduled for a pre-trial conference in February on federal charges of bribery and committing various acts of fraud while he recruited players for the Arizona Wildcats.

Richardson's attorney, Craig Mordock, made an initial appearance on Richardson's behalf last Thursday in a New York City federal court, during which Judge Edgardo Ramos set a pretrial conference date of Feb. 15.

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, Richardson — Sean Miller’s longest-tenured assistant coach — could face up to 60 years in prison and pay up to $1.5 million in fines. Richardson is one of four prominent college basketball coaches implicated in the federal case.

After Richardson's Sept. 26 arrest, the University of Arizona announced it would be conducting an internal investigation, and the NCAA is expected to do the same. Both inquiries are currently on hold while the FBI completes its investigation.

Richardson has been on paid leave the day he was arrested. UA officials have announced plans to terminate him, though Richardson is planning an appeal.

In the federal complaint against Richardson, prosecutors detailed a scheme involving a sports agent, money manager, the UA assistant and current and future Wildcats.

Richardson is accused of asking for and receiving $20,000 in bribes from sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial adviser Munish Sood, most of which was spent trying to land a verbal commitment from a future player, federal documents say. Based on information in the complaint, it's believed that the player is New Jersey point guard Jahvon Quinerly.

In exchange for the money, Richardson agreed to influence current Wildcats to sign with Dawkins and Sood once they began playing professionally, the documents show.

The case has had a seismic affect in college basketball, leading to the firing of Louisville coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich, and suspensions and firings at other schools.

Contact reporter Caitlin Schmidt at cschmidt@tucson.com or 573-4191


 

Public safety reporter covering police, fire, courts, and sports-related legal issues.