Three defendants in college basketball bribery case discussing resolution with prosecutors

At least three defendants in the bribery and corruption case that’s shaken college basketball are discussing a resolution with federal prosecutors.

Three orders filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York said attorneys for would-be sports agent Christian Dawkins, financial adviser Munish Sood and Florida AAU coach Jonathan Brad Augustine “have been engaged in, and are continuing, discussions concerning a possible disposition of these cases” with prosecutors.

“It is further found that the Government has requested a continuance of 14 days to engage in further discussions with defense counsel about the disposition of these cases and that the defendant, through counsel, has consented that such a continuance may be granted,” the orders said.

They added the continuance will help “continue the foregoing discussions and reach a disposition of these matters.”

Prosecutors accused Dawkins of participating in a scheme to bribe college assistant coaches in exchange for directing their players to use his fledgling agency when they started their professional careers. The coaches pledged to encourage their players to use Sood as well.

That included allegedly paying a $13,000 bribe to USC associate head coach Tony Bland during a July meeting in Las Vegas recorded by the FBI through hidden cameras and an undercover agent. A month later, prosecutors allege, Dawkins and Sood paid $9,000 to the relatives of two unidentified USC players in August during meetings at a Los Angeles restaurant and hotel.

Dawkins, Sood and Augustine were charged last month, along with Bland, Arizona assistant Book Richardson, Auburn assistant Chuck Person, Oklahoma State assistant Lamont Evans, clothing manufacturer Rashan Michel and two men linked to Adidas.

Dawkins and Sood each face a statutory maximum of 200 years in prison if found guilty on all charges — lawyers familiar with the case say the actual punishment if convicted likely would be dramatically less — which include payments of bribes, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy.

Several people familiar with the case expect more charges against others involved with college and grassroots basketball. The FBI investigation that started in 2015 is ongoing.

Thursday’s orders granted two-week continuances before Dawkins, Sood and Augustine must face a preliminary hearing, a rarity in federal criminal cases, or be indicted by a grand jury.

Attorneys for the three men didn’t return requests for comment.

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Twitter: @nathanfenno