Monday, July 23, 2018
News Roundup

Gambling NBA ref says his book publisher never paid him

ST. PETERSBURG — Tim Donaghy rose to the top of his profession, earning $250,000 a year as an NBA referee and becoming "a courtside witness to the greatness of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Shaquille O'Neal."

In secret, he also rose in the world of illegal gambling by passing "inside information to wiseguys who were making millions of dollars on my picks and lining the pockets of Mafia heavyweights."

But in a St. Petersburg courtroom on Tuesday, a world away from the first game of the NBA finals, Donaghy was essentially fighting for scraps.

After chronicling his downfall in a book — which includes the quotations above — Donaghy is now suing his Largo publisher, claiming she failed to turn over any of the estimated $200,000 in sales revenue from the book, Personal Foul.

During his opening statement on Tuesday, Donaghy's attorney Nicholas Mooney said publisher Shawna Vercher "knew that she could exploit Mr. Donaghy because of his past issues."

When the book began selling "like hotcakes" in late 2010, she was able "to start living the high life because she found a cash cow," Mooney said.

But Khurrum Wahid, attorney for Vercher and her business, VTi Group, said profits were reduced because Donaghy asked for extras, such as asking the company to look into a movie deal, the possibility of selling the book in China, and help for a friend who wanted help setting up business.

Also, Wahid said, a company official and friend of Vercher's turned out to be stealing from the business, which made a "confusing mess" of the books.

Donaghy, 45, grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from Villanova University, Mooney said. After trying a few other jobs, he eventually broke into the world of professional basketball refereeing.

In the NBA, he began betting on pro basketball games, including some that he worked. He has said he relied on what he knew about referees' biases toward different players. He claims he predicted outcomes 70 to 80 percent of the time.

But in 2006, his involvement deepened as he began taking payoffs in exchange for information. The FBI learned of the scheme during an investigation into the Gambino crime family.

Donaghy cooperated with the U.S Attorney's Office, which said he "compromised his objectivity as a referee." But in a distinction important to Donaghy, authorities said there was no evidence he fixed games.

An FBI agent from the case wrote the introduction to the book, saying Donaghy's story can help people learn "the chilling effects of diminishing the integrity of the soul."

Donaghy was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $195,000 restitution to the NBA.

He has served his prison time. And he did have a plan for paying off the $195,000 — writing a book.

The trial is expected to continue through the week.

Comments
Tampa Bay Times names Mark Katches as new executive editor

Tampa Bay Times names Mark Katches as new executive editor

ST. PETERSBURG — The Tampa Bay Times today named Mark Katches, a veteran journalist who has led his teams to Pulitzer-Prize-winning work, as the next executive editor of Florida’s largest newspaper.Katches, 55, who is now the editor and vice presiden...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
Waitress on taking down man who groped her: ‘We deal with a lot’

Waitress on taking down man who groped her: ‘We deal with a lot’

It was almost 11 p.m., and Emelia Holden was finishing up her shift as a server at a Savannah, Ga., pizzeria when she felt a hand on her backside.She reacted immediately, yanking the man backward by his red shirt as he tried to walk away and wrapping...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Police: 1 injured in building collapse on Miami Beach

Police: 1 injured in building collapse on Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH — Police say a 12-story building on Miami Beach that was slated to be torn down has collapsed, injuring one person. Miami Beach police officials tweeted that the victim was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami on Monday morning. A ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Swimmer Ryan Lochte suspended until July 2019 for use of IV

Swimmer Ryan Lochte suspended until July 2019 for use of IV

FORT LAUDERDALE — Ryan Lochte posted a photo for the world to see, and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency noticed. It got him suspended — again. The longtime U.S. swimming star has been banned from competition until July 2019, which means the 12-time Olympi...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Co-founder of Liturgical Folk: ‘We want our music to be a fire starter’

Co-founder of Liturgical Folk: ‘We want our music to be a fire starter’

Ryan Flanigan, co-founder of the Anglican music project Liturgical Folk, writes songs with two groups of people in mind — the old and the young."When I write or sing in front of a church, they are who I am looking at," Flanigan, 38, said. "If a song ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Pasco Religion Calendar for July 27

Religion CalendarGenerations Christian Church, 1540 Little Road, Odessa, is collecting school supplies to fill backpacks for students in need. Donations are needed by Aug. 5. Contact the church for a list of needed items. For more information, visit ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Restaurant review: Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s open themed spots in downtown St. Petersburg, and one fares slightly better so far

Restaurant review: Ford’s Garage and Yeoman’s open themed spots in downtown St. Petersburg, and one fares slightly better so far

ST. PETERSBURG - Restaurants with heavy theming can go awry in a number of ways: too much, not enough, mixed messages, ham-fisted devotion to cliches, etc. It can be a runaway train that unduly influences the food, music, architecture, server uniform...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Updated: 2 hours ago
A flying umbrella injures a second beach-goer in a week

A flying umbrella injures a second beach-goer in a week

A portion of an aluminum beach umbrella was driven entirely through a 67-year-old woman’s ankle after it went airborne at a beach in New Jersey last week.The July 16 event was heralded as a freak accident.RELATED: London woman impaled by beach umbrel...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Top 5 at noon: Florida insider poll: nominees for governor will be ... ; Hillsborough sheriff loosens rules for new hires; and more

Top 5 at noon: Florida insider poll: nominees for governor will be ... ; Hillsborough sheriff loosens rules for new hires; and more

Here are the latest headlines and updates on tampabay.com:FLORIDA INSIDER POLL: NOMINEES FOR GOVERNOR WILL BE ...Florida’s busiest election cycle in decades is shaped above all by one guy, Donald Trump. That’s the clear consensus of more than 220 lo...
Updated: 2 hours ago