Auburn assistant basketball coach Chuck Person is out of custody after being ordered by a chief U.S. magistrate judge to appear in a New York federal court in two weeks.
Person was released Tuesday after being arrested and charged with six federal crimes including bribery conspiracy, solicitation of bribes and gratuities, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and travel act conspiracy. Person’s arrest was part of four NCAA assistant basketball coaches indicted by federal authorities in a fraud and corruption scheme that included managers, financial advisers and representatives of a major international sportswear company.
According to public court documents, in a hearing of the Middle District Court of Alabama in Birmingham, Person was ordered by Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel Jr. to appear in federal court in the Southern District of New York on Oct. 10 at 9 a.m local time to answer to the charges. According to the court documents, Person is currently being represented by Montgomery-based attorneys Joel Connally and Jeff Duffey.
According to federal documents detailing the FBI investigation into corruption involving pay-for-play schemes of several college basketball coaches, Person allegedly received $91,500 in bribery payments in a scheme to steer two unnamed Auburn players to certain agents and financial advisers. Person and Rashan Michel, a former NBA and NCAA official and current custom clothing distributor, who is also named as a defendant in the charges, agreed to accept approximately $50,000 in bribe payments from an undercover federal agent.
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"Chuck Person in describing his influence over one of his players put it this way, 'He listens to one person, that is me,'" said Joon H. Kim, acting United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. "Chuck Person also said that his players trusted and looked up to him because he coached Kobe Bryant and worked for Phil Jackson."
If found guilty of the charges, Person faces a maximum sentence of 80 years in federal prison.