A New York man has been charged with attempted bribery after allegedly trying to fix a college basketball game in 2018. Benjamin Bifalco, 25, reportedly offered players on a college basketball team “thousands of dollars” to throw a game, according to a release from the Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney's Office.
Bifalco was caught speaking about the scheme on a wiretap. That wiretap resulted in 20 people being arrested. It was part of an investigation into the Columbo crime family.
Bifalco could be heard on the wiretap detailing his plans to fix a game. Those plans fell though, and Bifalco later texted one of the defendants telling them they should not bet on the game. According to the indictment, the “favored team did not cover the spread and the bets would not have been winning ones.”
The Eastern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office did not reveal the players or the team involved in the scheme. The scheme targeted a game that was played in December 2018.
The NCAA responded to the arrest, saying it is proof that attempting to fix games is still a threat to the college basketball, according to ESPN.
"Today's indictment and arrest of an individual for attempting to fix the outcome of a December 2018 college basketball game reinforces that game-manipulation threats and risks are real and ever-present," the NCAA said in a statement. "We are actively monitoring the situation, which is a part of the criminal process, and will respond accordingly if it is determined that NCAA rules were violated."
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