Five men sentenced in Arizona State basketball point-shaving scandal

Five men sentenced in Arizona State basketball point-shaving scandal

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PHOENIX (AP) — A former Arizona State player apologized and another defendant cried before they and three other men were sentenced to prison or probation in a college basketball point-shaving scandal.

Former Arizona State guard Isaac Burton Jr. apologized to his coaches, "all ASU fans, classmates and whoever," saying he didn't realize what he was getting involved in. "Hopefully you guys can forgive me," he said.

"I didn't know it would destroy my family," Joseph Mangiamele said through tears.

The scandal caused harm to the university, the students, the fans and to the coach, U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Broomfield said.

"This scandal leads to cynicism about what college sports is all about," Broomfield added.

Burton, Mangiamele, his father, Dominic Mangiamele, Vincent Basso and Joseph Gagliano admitted they were involved in a point-shaving scheme allegedly masterminded by former Arizona State student Benny Silman during the 1993-94 season.

Silman, 28, is serving a 46-month prison sentence for getting Stevin "Hedake" Smith and Burton to shave points in certain games so the team wouldn't beat the point spread.

"At no time did (Burton) do anything intentionally that would cause the game to be affected in any way," his attorney James Logan said before sentencing.

Calling Burton's apology heartfelt and saying he gained little and lost a lot by his involvement, Broomfield sentenced Burton to two months in jail, six months of home detention and three years' probation. Burton also was fined $8,000 and will have to complete 200 hours of community service. He could have drawn up to 112 years in prison.

Broomfield said Burton's jail sentence need not be continuous and did not rule out the possibility that Burton might be able to travel outside the country during his probation.

Burton played professionally last year in Cyprus.

Bets were placed on five Arizona State games in Las Vegas between December 1993 and May 1994, and four were fixed successfully, prosecutors said. The bettors lost all their money in the last game of the scheme — against Washington — when Arizona State beat the point spread.

After Silman and Smith agreed to the conspiracy, Silman brought in Gagliano, who contacted the Mangiameles.

Smith asked Burton for help in fixing the first two games in return for cash.

After the third successful fix, Gagliano approached Basso, a schoolmate from Chicago.

Basso, Gagliano and the Mangiameles placed bets on the last two games, against Southern California and Washington.

Gagliano was sentenced to 15 months in prison, three years parole and 100 hours of community service, and he was fined $6,000.

Joseph Mangiamele was sentenced to three months in jail, eight months of home detention and four years' probation. He also must pay a $5,000 fine and complete 100 hours of community service.

The judge said Joseph Mangiamele's sentencing took into account his unusual level of cooperation with prosecutors. "If yours isn't the highest (level), it comes close," Broomfield said.

Dominic Mangiamele, a former Chicago trucking executive, was sentenced to four months of home detention during three years' probation, a $5,000 fine and 100 hours of community service.

Vincent Basso of Buffalo Grove, Ill., was sentenced to 112 years in prison, $27,000 in fines — the amount he profited from betting on a game between Arizona State and Southern California — and 3 years parole.

Smith, Arizona State's No. 3 all-time leading scorer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit sports bribery in 1997. He is to be sentenced on Sept. 20.

— Arizona Daily Sun


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