The two men who the FBI say bribed UA assistant coach Book Richardson are in talks with prosecutors about a possible deal, court documents show.
A federal judge granted a two-week continuance on Thursday so prosecutors could continue negotiations with sports agent Christian Dawkins and financial advisor Munish Sood. The two are accused of funneling $20,000 to Richardson as part of a wide-ranging college basketball corruption scheme, according to the document filed in U.S. District Court in New York.
Both Dawkins and Sood are now scheduled to appear in court Nov. 9, the same day Richardson — one of four college coaches charged in the case — has agreed to appear in a New York City court.
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 largest-tenured assistant could serve as long as 60 years in prison and pay up to $1.5 million in fines.
Prosecutors wrote this week that they were discussing “a possible disposition of these cases” with Dawkins, Sood and their attorneys, but said the original deadline — Thursday — was not enough time.
A judge agreed, ruling that the continuance “best serves the ends of justice and outweighs the best interests of the public and the defendant in a speedy trial.”
In documents released Sept. 26, the same day Richardson was arrested, prosecutors detailed a scheme involving the agent, the UA assistant and — documents say — current and former Wildcats.
Dawkins and Sood would pay Richardson, who would then funnel the money to prospective UA players in exchange for their commitments to the school. In exchange, Richardson would direct current Wildcats to the two for representation when their college eligibility expired.
An FBI wiretap recorded a June conversation between Dawkins and Richardson, in which the two discussed a high school basketball player that Richardson was going to pay to play for the UA, the federal complaint said. On June 20, Richardson met with Sood and an undercover FBI agent in New York and accepted a $5,000 cash bribe.
A few weeks later, Dawkins told an undercover agent that Richardson needed another $15,000 to secure the player, believed to be New Jersey point guard Jahvon Quinerly, according to the complaint.
Sood paid Richardson the money during a July 20 meeting in his office, the documents said.
Quinerly committed to the UA Aug. 8.
Documents say the trio also discussed a current UA player who, they said, had already been paid. If that’s the case, the unnamed Wildcat could be ruled ineligible by the NCAA. The university has suspended Richardson with pay and has announced plans to terminate him. Brick Storts, Richardson’s Tucson-based lawyer, said this week that the assistant coach plans to appeal the termination.
Arizona opens its exhibition schedule Wednesday with a game against Eastern New Mexico.