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Ex-University of San Diego basketball star gets six months in bribery scheme

March 1, 2013 |  4:32 pm

Brandon Johnson
A former basketball star at the University of San Diego was sentenced in federal court Friday to six months in custody after pleading guilty to being part of a sports bribery conspiracy.

Brandon Johnson, 26, the team's all-time scoring and assists leader, admitted receiving a bribe to influence a game while he was on the team during the 2009-10 season and that the next season he sought to bribe a player on the team.

The bribe money came from gamblers who profited by placing bets at Las Vegas casinos on games Johnson influenced, according to federal prosecutors.

A co-defendant, Steve Goria, has admitted that he profited more than $120,000 from the conspiracy. He was sentenced in October to 30 months in prison.

Johnson is living in Jersey Village, Texas, and playing minor-league basketball, in hopes of reaching the NBA.

In  addition to Johnson, eight of 10 defendants in the conspiracy, including a former assistant coach, have pleaded guilty. Under a sentence by District Court Anthony Battaglia, Johnson must serve a year's supervised probation after the six months in custody.

According to prosecutors, Johnson was paid between $5,000 and $10,000 to influence up to four games.


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--Tony Perry in San Diego