Detroit Man Pleads Guilty in Race-Fixing Case
by Blood-Horse Staff
Date Posted: 2/6/2013 3:04:16 PM
Last Updated: 2/7/2013 12:52:53 PM

A Detroit businessman has pleaded guilty to paying a jockey in an attempt to fix horse races at Tampa Bay Downs and Delaware Park in 2005-06.

According to the Tampa Tribune, Mitchell "Ed" Karam and Ghazi Manni are both charged with wire fraud, which stems from 167 telephone conversations the men had with former jockey Ricardo Valdez in an effort to fix horse races at those tracks from December 2005 to December 2006.

Valdes was paid to "influence the order of finish of various Thoroughbred horse races held in Florida" and trying to recruit or bribe other jockeys, according to court documents.

According to the Associated Press, Karam also pleaded in a point-shaving investigation at the University of Toledo, admitting he bribed basketball players from 2004 to 2006 while placing bets on games.

Karam's plea occurred nearly four years after he was indicted in the Toledo probe along with another gambler, Detroit businessman Ghazi "Gary" Manni. Prosecutors say they bet approximately $331,000 on basketball games.

Karam split the bribesmoney, gifts, groceries and other favorswith Manni, according to his plea agreement. No dollar amount was disclosed.

"Mr. Karam made a regrettable mistake to associate with Ghazi Manni," defense attorney Brian Legghio told The Associated Press. "He did not take any active role with the players. They primarily interacted with Mr. Manni."

Manni plans to go to trial on March 12, along with former Toledo basketball players Anton Currie, Kashif Payne, and Keith Triplett. Allegations of bribery also extend to the football team during the same period.
 



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