A former Oklahoma State University basketball coach has pleaded guilty in a bribery case that involved an unnamed financial advisor cooperating with the FBI, according to news reports.
Prosecutors said Lamont Evans solicited and accepted at least $22,000 in bribes from the financial advisor while Evans was a coach at the University of South Carolina and then at Oklahoma State in exchange for pushing basketball players to hire the advisor, the Wall Street Journal writes. The advisor, however, ended up cooperating with authorities by recording his conversations with Evans and other coaches as directed by the FBI, according to the paper.
In August, former broker and investment advisor Munish Sood pleaded guilty to felony conspiracy to commit bribery, wire fraud conspiracy and paying bribes to an agent of a federally funded entity.
He was accused of paying bribes to coaches at the University of Arizona, Oklahoma State and the University of Southern California in exchange for their recommending his services to basketball players.
It’s unclear whether Sood is the advisor who cooperated with the FBI in Evans’ case, but he was not one of the eight defendants indicted in November 2017 in the bribery case, and several lawyers have said that it could mean he cooperated with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, ESPN wrote this summer.
Prosecutors said Christian Dawkins, a sports agent arrested in 2017 and charged in two cases related to the investigation, had arranged the bribes, the Journal writes.
Evans pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bribery, which was just one of the six counts he was facing, according to the paper. He still faces up to five years in prison, with his sentencing scheduled for May, the Journal writes. Evans’ lawyers didn’t respond to the paper’s requests for comment.
Evans is the third person to plead guilty this month in the far-ranging bribery case involving coaches, NCAA players, financial advisors, an Adidas executive and a sports agent, which is scheduled to go trial this spring, the Journal writes.
Authorities arrested four college assistant coaches in September 2017 as part of a probe by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office and the FBI, according to the paper.
Former University of Southern California assistant coach Anthony Bland and former University of Arizona assistant coach Emanuel Richardson pleaded guilty in the case earlier this month, the Journal writes.