A federal grand jury in New York handed down an indictment against former Adidas executive Jim Gatto after accusing him of conspiring to funnel money to the families of two University of Louisville basketball recruits as part of a federal probe into college basketball recruiting.
Also indicted were Adidas consultant Merl Code; Rashan Michel, an apparel company owner and former NCAA official; sports agent Christian Dawkins; Arizona assistant coach Emmanuel “Book” Richardson; Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person; Oklahoma State assistant coach Lamont Evans; and University of Southern California assistant coach Tony Bland.
As the head of global sports marketing for basketball, Gatto oversaw “significant components” of Adidas’ high school and college basketball programs, including a multimillion-dollar annual budget, and “facilitated payments to players and their families,” the indictment states, according to The Oregonian.
The investigation was first unveiled by federal investigators in late September. The individuals had been initially charged with a combination of wire fraud, money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
The charge against Gatto was conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Code was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to commit bribery, payments of bribes and gratuities to an agent of a federally funded organization, conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud and travel act conspiracy.
The Oregonian noted that prosecutors apparently decided against pursuing money laundering counts against Gatto and Code. Those charges had been included in the original complaint.