Former Arizona assistant Book Richardson pleads guilty to bribery | Zagsblog
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Friday / April 19.
  • Former Arizona assistant Book Richardson pleads guilty to bribery

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Former Arizona assistant coach Emanuel “Book” Richardson pled guilty in Manhattan federal court Tuesday to taking approximately $20,000 in cash bribes from athlete advisers in exchange for using his position to influence Arizona basketball players on his team to retain the services of the advisers paying the bribes.

    The charge carries a maximum term of five years in prison, but Richardson, 46, could face something closer to 18-24 months.

    “As he admitted in court today, Emanuel Richardson, a former Arizona men’s basketball coach, abused his position as a mentor and coach to student-athletes for his own personal gain,” said Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “Richardson, entrusted to help players develop as athletes and young men, instead helped himself to the cash offered by unscrupulous agents and financial advisers.”

    Beginning in or around February 2017, and continuing into September 2017, when Richardson was arrested, he received approximately $20,000 in cash bribes from current and aspiring financial advisers and/or managers for professional athletes in exchange for his agreement to exert his influence over certain student-athletes, according to a release from the Southern District of New York.

    He coached at Arizona to retain the services of the bribe payers once those players entered the NBA.  For example, in discussing his commitment to steering Arizona players to retain the bribe payers upon entering the NBA, Richardson told an undercover FBI agent and others, during a recorded meeting, “I used to let kids talk to three or four guys, but I was like, why would you do that?  You know that’s like taking a kid to a BMW dealer, a Benz dealer, and a Porsche dealer.  They like them all . . . You have to pick for them.”

    In return for the cash bribes he received, Richardson facilitated a meeting between the bribe payers and a relative of a player attending Arizona for the purpose of pressuring that player to retain the financial services of the bribe payers.

    In addition to today’s plea, former USC assistant Tony Bland previously pled guilty, pursuant to a plea agreement with the Government, in connection with this scheme.  Munish Sood, a financial adviser, also previously pled guilty, pursuant to a cooperation agreement with the Government, in connection with this scheme

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.