Report: FBI Investigator Accused of Misusing Funds on Christian Dawkins Case

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 24, 2018

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) seal is seen on the lectern following a press conference announcing the FBI's 499th and 500th additions to the 'Ten Most Wanted Fugitives' list on June 17, 2013 at the Newseum in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN        (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

Christian Dawkins was a focal point of the FBI's case regarding college basketball players being paid to go to certain schools, but recent information about the undercover agent could put the investigation at risk.

According to Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated, Jeff DeAngelo was the lead investigator on the case and undercover as a wealthy real estate investor. However, DeAngelo has been "accused of wrongfully spending government money on gambling and other activities while he was undercover."

As SI's Jake Fischer and Jon Wertheim detailed, DeAngelo and fellow undercover agent, Jill, provided money to Dawkins, which he allegedly later used to pay coaches, including USC assistant Tony Bland.

The sports marketing professional was charged with wire fraud, bribery and money-laundering conspiracy.

However, DeAngelo is in hot water himself after allegedly spending government funds meant for the operation on gambling, food and beverages in Las Vegas while the investigation was ongoing.

Federal prosecutors notified the defense in the case about the alleged misappropriation of funds as part of the "Brady Rule."

While this doesn't lessen any potential crimes committed by Dawkins, it could help the defense's case if it goes to trial.

"The idea that the government's case is largely built on an agent who was committing wrongful acts calls into question the strength of the implicating evidence and testimony," McCann explained.

Regardless of the outcome of this case, the investigation unearthed several problems within college basketball the NCAA needs to solve. However, the latest news could at least help Dawkins from a legal perspective.

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