Auburn Basketball associate head coach Chuck Person is facing bribery, fraud and corruption charges as part of a federal criminal probe into a wide-ranging scheme across NCAA basketball that involved top coaches funelling athletes to agents and financial advisers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
More than ten people, including coaches, managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major sportswear company, are facing charges. A press conference is scheduled for Tuesday at 11 a.m. CT.
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The U.S. Attorneys Office could not confirm, for "operational purposes," if Person has been taken into custody. But warrants for his arrest have been issued by United States Magistrate Judge James L. Cott.
According to the charging documents, the FBI and the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York have been investigating a scheme involving bribery, corruption and fraud in NCAA athletics.
The investigation revealed numerous instances of bribes being paid by athletic financial advisers and business managers to assistant and associate coaches employed by NCAA Division 1 universities, including Auburn.
The bribes were in exchange for the coaches to influence student-athletes to retain services of bribe-payers once the athletes entered the NBA, according to the charging documents.
The charging documents allege that Person and bespoke suit maker Rashan Michel, founder of the Atlanta-based company Thompson Bespoke Clothing, conspired as part of the scheme.
Person "abused his coaching position at (Auburn) to solicit and obtain bribe payments" from a financial adviser in exchange for Person agreeing to direct student-athletes to retain the services of the financial adviser and Michel when they went into the NBA, the documents read.
The bribes were initially arranged by Michel, who had a relationship with Person.
Person made arrangements for the financial adviser to make payments directly to him and the families of the student-athletes he was steering to the financial adviser, according to the charging documents.
"These payments defrauded (Auburn) by depriving it of the financial aid (Auburn) continued to award to the relevant student-athletes under false pretenses," the charging documents read.
Over a 10-month period, the financial adviser paid more than $91,000 in bribes to Person as part of his agreement to use his coaching influence over high-profile student-athletes at Auburn who had the potential to get recruited by the NBA.
About $18,500 of the money he received was sent to the two student-athletes he steered to the financial adviser.
Person, according to the documents, told one player, "don't share this with your sisters, don't share this with any of the teammates, that's very important cause this is a violation ... but this is how the NBA players get it done."
He went on to say, "your personality and the way you do things can't change. Don't flaunt the stuff you get and, you know, don't change the way you speak to people."
The charges are being brought by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of New York.
Person was hired in the spring of 2014 as an assistant coach. He was later promoted to associate head coach in 2015. He was a basketball player at Auburn and a two-time All-American and Auburn's all-time scoring leader.
He played for several years in the NBA and was named rookie of the year in 1987.
The University has not yet responded to requests for comment.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Oklahoma associate head coach Lamont Evans, Arizona assistant coach Emanual Richardson and Southern California assistant head coach Anthony Bland were also named in the case.
Those involved were arrested overnight, a law enforcement official told NBC News.
This story will be updated.
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