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Evidence in college basketball bribery case includes 1,300 intercepted phone calls

Evidence in college basketball bribery case includes 1,300 intercepted phone calls
USC assistant coach Tony Bland, who's been on administrative leave since his arrest in September, allegedly received a $13,000 bribe in exchange for directing players to use a sports agent and financial advisor. (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

Federal authorities intercepted more than 1,300 phone calls covering nearly 200 hours in the college basketball bribery and corruption investigation, according to a document filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The letter from prosecutors to Judge Lewis A. Kaplan said the recordings of calls relevant to the matter have been turned over to counsel for the 10 defendants in the case.

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Prosecutors expect to produce audio recordings of meetings made during the investigation by the end of the week. The FBI reportedly recorded a July meeting in Las Vegas where USC associate head coach Tony Bland — one of four college assistant coaches charged — allegedly received a $13,000 bribe in exchange for directing players to use a sports agent and financial advisor.

Bland, on administrative leave since his arrest in September, has pleaded not guilty.

The two-page letter doesn’t specify whose phone calls were intercepted. But it notes that text messages were captured. Investigators also seized an unspecified number of phones and “the full copy of an email account” as part of the probe.

“We are currently in the process of reviewing those phones and emails for material that is within the scope of those search warrants,” the letter said.

The letter said authorities were still receiving material subpoenaed from third parties, “including a number of universities relevant to the conduct charged in the Indictment.”

USC, Arizona, Auburn and Oklahoma State — whose assistants were charged — received subpoenas, as did South Carolina, former Louisville coach Rick Pitino and Miami coach Jim Larranaga.

The letter said a “limited amount” of material has not been turned over to defense counsel.

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