FBI wiretaps show USD bribery scandal greed, callousness 022813

Ex-basketball star Brandon Johnson faces prison

SAN DIEGO - Statements caught on FBI wiretaps could influence the sentence of a former University of San Diego basketball player who pleaded guilty in a point-fixing ring.

Brandon Johnson is all-time leading scorer for the University of San Diego men's basketball team; he had talent to burn.

FBI wiretaps obtained by 10News featured Johnson -- USD's all-time leading scorer -- bragging about throwing Torero basketball games in 2010.

Government attorneys want to play the tapes in U. S. District Court before his sentencing Friday.  

The following are excerpts, with U.S. Attorney definitions added:

"I made it happen (fixed a game), I saw the cash, (bribe money), that was it."

In the court filings, Johnson also talked about the easy money out there.

"It came quick. I made like five ($5,000) in two games, man."

Click here to read the wiretap excerpts

Defense attorney Paul Pfingst, who is not involved in the case, told 10News that the tapes could be very damaging to Johnson at his sentencing.

"It's one thing to talk about a point-fixing scheme in abstract; it's a lot more devastating to actually hear it happen. The tapes show a complete indifference to the law and that's something that affects judges," said Pfingst.

Eight others have already faced prosecution, and on Friday, it's Johnson's turn.  

The U. S. Attorney wants to play those tapes rather than submit the transcripts to, "… help the court understand how little remorse Johnson had for his actions … USD players … for the game of basketball …"

The prosecutor wants a one-year prison term.

USD junior Cody Cross told 10News, "I think from the outside looking in, people might think the USD program is kind of tarnished, but I don't think the students think that."

The USD administration and Johnson's attorney chose not to comment.

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