Bookie from 2014 UTEP Men’s Basketball Scandal Pleads Guilty
After nearly three years, the UTEP men's basketball betting scandal has returned. Earlier today, 26-year old Michael Karpus pleaded guilty to one count of misprison of felony. What this means is that he tried to hide his bookmaking and failed to report knowledge of a felony to the appropriate authorities. Karpus ran a sports bookmaking operation that involved three UTEP men's basketball players. McKenzie Moore, Jalen Ragland, and Justin Crosgile were all dismissed from the team in January 2014 for their involvement in the illegal gambling ring. Interestingly enough, Karpus also admitted that he tried to recruit a player to fix a basketball game, but he was unsuccessful. The player's name was not revealed. No other individuals have been charged in connection with this gambling operation.
According to Aaron Martinez from the El Paso Times, prosecutors in court today said that the three players had been betting on sporting events with Karpus, but they did not reveal which sports they were wagering on between November 2013 and mid-January 2014. Remember, UTEP head coach Tim Floyd acted quickly when he kicked all three off his team once he learned that they had been betting on sports. We still do not know if Moore, Ragland, and Crosgile had ever placed any bets on UTEP games. The university had quickly turned their investigation over to the FBI, and they cooperated with them. Floyd and UTEP did the right thing in retrospect, and that team minus Moore, Ragland, and Crosgile played the most inspired basketball that I've seen over the six years he's been head coach of the Miners.
As for Karpus, he could spend up to three years in federal prison and face a $250,000 fine for the misprison of felony charge. His attorney has asked for probation in a plea agreement, but he could still face prison time when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Phil Martinez.