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A FINANCIAL ADVISER involved in a wide-ranging college basketball corruption and bribery scandal pleaded guilty to three charges related to his efforts to bribe coaches who were then supposed to steer student-athletes toward his firm.
Last September, the college basketball world was turned on its head when the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York laid out findings from an F.B.I. investigation that uncovered mass corruption, bribery and wire fraud involving some of the sport's top programs.
Four assistant coaches and six other individuals were charged, including the financial adviser, Munish Sood. His firm, Princeton Advisory Group, had $236 million in client assets, according to its Form ADV.
Mr. Sood did not return a call last Wednesday for comment.
The three counts, which were connected to events in 2016 and 2017, were conspiracy to commit bribery, payments of bribes to an agent of a federally funded organization and wire fraud conspiracy. Mr. Sood "agreed with others to offer and pay bribes to multiple [National Collegiate Athletic Association] men's college basketball coaches, intending to influence and reward those coaches in connection with the business of their universities," according to a formal criminal charge known as a criminal information, which was filed Aug. 27.
Under a criminal information, the defendant skips the process of an indictment and instead pleads guilty to the charges.
Mr. Sood wanted college basketball players to become clients down the road, according to the Justice Department. He paid "bribes to the NCAA men's college basketball coaches, in exchange for which these coaches agreed to and did exercise their influence as coaches for their respective universities to persuade and pressure student-athletes to retain the services of Sood, among others," according to the information.
In March 2016 in South Carolina, Mr. Sood met with a former agent, an assistant basketball coach and a cooperating witness to discuss whether the coach could "direct and influence" certain student-athletes at the University of South Carolina to hire Mr. Sood, according to the information.
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