UofL-Adidas Scandal: The 14 most telling excerpts from the FBI complaint

UofL-Adidas Scandal: The 14 most telling excerpts from the FBI complaint
FBI complaint

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - WAVE 3 News has spent the last two days combing through every line of the FBI's original complaint that announced to the public their massive investigation into widespread corruption involving high-profile college basketball programs, apparel giant Adidas and a cash-for-talent scheme totaling in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Before you take a look at some of the more damning excerpts, passages and quotes from the documents, we've listed out who some of the people are in the investigation that stretches back to 2015:

Merl Code - Adidas representative
Christian Dawkins - Prospective agent
Jonathan Brad Augustine - AAU basketball representative
Humish Sood - Financial representative
CW1 - Cooperating Witness 1
UC1 - Undercover Witness 1
University-6 = UofL
Player-10 = UofL freshman Brian Bowen
Player-11 = High school junior being recruited by UofL
Coach-1 = UofL assistant coach
Coach-2 = UofL assistant coach
Company-1 = Adidas
James Gatto = Adidas global marketing director

The report was prepared by FBI Special Agent John Verdaris.

+ Based on my participation in this investigation, including my review of telephone calls, over a cellular telephone used by Christian Dawkins, the defendant, that were intercepted pursuant to judicial authorization and my discussions with law-enforcement officers, I have learned that in or around May of 2017, at the request of at least one coach from (UofL), DAWKINS, JAMES GATTO AKA "Jim," MERL CODE, MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, and others, agreed to funnel $100,000 (payable in four installments) from (Adidas) to the family of (Bowen). Shortly after the agreement with (Bowen) was reached, in early June, (Bowen) publicly committed to (UofL).

+ CODE told DAWKINS that he had "bad news" about the payments from (Adidas) to (Bowen's) family, adding that "my group gets [] an email about the invoice" that "ask[s] for all these PO numbers and vendor numbers and blah blah blah blah blah," referring to the document generated internally at (Adidas) meant to explain the $100,000 being allocated to pay the family of (Bowen). CODE then explained to DAWKINS that he had expected JAMES GATTO, a/k/a "Jim," the defendant, and (Adidas) to have handled the payment "off the books," noting that CODE's "group" had received payments that year that "didn't go through the system."

+ CODE lamented to DAWKINS that GATTO had not just "flex[ed] his muscle and push[ed] it through the system, but that's obviously not what's happening," and asked whether DAWKINS could arrange for SOOD or (UC-1) to provide the initial payment to (Bowen's) father ... because (Bowen's father) had been pressuring them for the money.

+ CODE also told SOOD and UC-1 that "you guys are being introduced to ... how stuff happens with kids and getting into particular schools and so this is kind of one of those instances where we needed to step up and help one of our flagship schools in (UofL), you know, secure a five star caliber kid. Obviously that helps, you know, our potential business ... and that's an (Adidas-sponsored) school."

+ CODE further stated that by funneling the payments to student-athletes through third-party companies, (Adidas) was "not engaging in a monetary relationship with an amateur athlete, we're engaging in a monetary relationship with a business manager, and whatever he decides to do with it, that's between him and the family." CODE added that "we can't get involved directly in those kinds of situations and scenarios."

+ On or about July 14, 2017, CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and MUNISH SOOD, the defendants, participated in a telephone call that was intercepted over the Dawkins Wiretap. During the call, DAWKINS and SOOD discussed the meeting with (Bowen's father), and SOOD confirmed that he had given (Bowen's father) the cash ... DAWKINS responded "that kid could come over my house, and have a key. Like that's what I do." DAWKINS further stated that if (Bowen) was "one and done," meaning that if (Bowen) played one year of collegiate sports before entering the NBA draft, "he may be top 20," but that if (Bowen) played collegiate basketball for two years, he "should be a top ten pick."

+ On or about July 27, 2017, CHRISTIAN DAWKINS and JONATHAN BRAD AUGUSTINE, the defendants, met in a hotel room in Las Vegas, Nevada, with (CW 1), (UC1) and an assistant coach from (UofL) ... Prior to the meeting, the FBI placed video recorders inside of the hotel room; (UC 1) also recorded the meeting. Based on my participation in the investigation, including my review of the recordings of the July 27 Meeting, as well as my debriefing of (CW 1), I am aware that at the July 27 Meeting, the following was discussed, in sum and substance, and in part:

a) DAWKINS explained to the group that "the player we're talking about tonight is (Player-11) with (UofL)," and noted that DAWKINS had dealt with coaches at (UofL) on the recruitment of (Bowen). DAWKINS then laid out the plan to funnel money to the family of Player-11, a high school basketball player who was expected to graduate in 2019, stating that "the mom is like ... we need our ****ing money. So we got to be able to fund the situation," adding "we're all working together to get this kid to (UofL)."

b) Noting that (UofL) was already on probation with the NCAA, DAWKINS indicated that they would have to be particularly careful with how they passed money to Player-11 and his family. Coach-1 agreed, stating  "we gotta be very low key." DAWKINS added, "The biggest thing is just making sure that every month Brad (AUGUSTINE) gets what he needs" in order to funnel the payments to Player-11 and his family ... DAWKINS concluded that their plan to funnel money to Player-11 and/or his family in exchange for Player-11's commitment to attend (UofL)

c) DAWKINS, AUGUSTINE, and UC-1 then discussed the logistics of how to get their share of the funding from DAWKINS and UC-1 to AUGUSTINE each month without the payments being detected. AUGUSTINE suggested that the "easiest way" would be to send the money to AUGUSTINE's "non-profit for the grassroots team," although AUGUSTINE confirmed that he also would accept cash. UC-1 then handed AUGUSTINE an envelope containing $12,700 in cash, which DAWKINS explained "will take care of July, of August." (UC-1) suggested to Coach-1 that the payment would "make (UofL) and your program happy in the sense that the kid is ... going to (UofL), and after (UofL), he's gonna come back to us."

d) At the meeting, AUGUSTINE stated that he expected (Adidas) to fund at least a portion of the future payments to Player-11 and/or his family because, referring to a coach for (UofL's) men's basketball team, "no one swings a bigger ***k than (UofL coach 2)" at (Adidas), adding that "all (UofL coach 2) has to do is pick up the phone and call somebody (and say) these are my guys, they're taking care of us." ... (UofL coach 2) is not a guy to have his own agent already set up" so that it would fall upon (UofL coach 1) and another assistant coach at (UofL) to steer the athletes to certain advisors.

e) Shortly thereafter, (UofL coach 1) left the room, and DAWKINS, AUGUSTINE, UC-1 and CW-1 proceeded to discuss the (Bowen) scheme ... (including) the involvement of (UofL coach 2) in securing funding from (Adidas) for (Bowen's) family. DAWKINS, who had been negotiating directly with (Bowen's) family, noted that (Adidas) had originally agreed to pay a "certain number" to (Bowen's) family, but that a rival athletic apparel company was "coming with a higher number," such that DAWKINS needed to "get more" from (Adidas) to secure (Bowen's) commitment to attend (UofL). DAWKINS then said that he had spoken with (UofL coach 2) about getting additional money for (Bowen's) family and informed (UofL coach 2) that "I need you to call Jim Gatto (the defendant), who's the head of everything" at (Adidas') basketball program.

+ Based on my review of call records, I am aware that on or about May 27, 2017, JAMES GATTO, a/k/a "Jim," the defendant, had two telephone conversations with a phone number used by (UofL coach 2). Based on the same, I am aware that on or about June 1, 2017, GATTO had a third telephone conversation with the same phone number used by (UofL coach 2). As noted above, two days later, on or about June 3, 2017, Player-10 officially committed to (UofL) in return for the commitment by GATTO and (Adidas) to pay $100,000.

+ DAWKINS ... explained to UC-2 that they would need additional money for "two particular kids, one was (Player-10) who we're already involved with, we already got him done, so basically we just need to take care of his dad with two grand monthly" adding "I gotta just figure out how we get the two grand to him every month."

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