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Illegal Sports Bookmaker Sentenced for Conspiring to Commit Sports Bribery

U.S. Attorney’s Office April 11, 2013
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced that Paul Joseph Thweni was sentenced today by the Honorable Anthony J. Battaglia to serve 30 months in custody, followed by three years’ supervised release, for his role in a criminal conspiracy.

The indictment charged that Thweni and nine others enriched themselves by operating an illegal sports gambling business and by distributing marijuana. Using proceeds from those crimes, Thweni and his co-conspirators influenced the outcome of basketball games at the University of San Diego (USD) during the 2009-2010 season and then attempted to recruit players to do the same during the 2010-2011 season. Thweni pleaded guilty to the indictment on August 2, 2012.

According to court documents and other admissions, Thweni and his co-conspirators bribed co-defendant Brandon Johnson to influence the outcome of basketball games during the 2009-2010 season while Johnson was a member of USD’s basketball team. The co-conspirators then profited by placing bets at Las Vegas casinos on games Johnson influenced. Co-defendant Steve Goria, who was sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment in October 2012, admitted that the conspiracy made more than $120,000 from the game-fixing scheme. Thweni previously admitted that during the 2010-2011 season, the co-conspirators attempted to recruit current college basketball players at USD and other schools to influence the outcome of basketball games in exchange for cash.

Judge Battaglia ordered the defendant to report on April 19, 2013, to begin serving his sentence.

Defendant in Criminal Case No. 11CR1345-AJB

Paul Joseph Thweni
Age: 28
Spring Valley, California

Summary of Charges

Count one: Title 18, United States Code, Section 371—conspiracy

Investigating Agency

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Convictions in Criminal Case Number: 11cr1345AJB

Steve Warda Goria
Richard Francis Garmo
Thaddeus James Brown
Brandon Johnson
Richard Thweni
David Gates
Jake Salter

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