Adidas sports marketing lead convicted of fraud in basketball bribery case

Adidas marketing chief convicted of fraud in basketball bribery case

A top Adidas marketing official has been convicted of fraud by a federal jury in Manhattan, closing a year-long investigation into alleged malpractice.

James Gatto, head of global sports marketing at the brand, had been subject to a US Department of Justice inquiry into alleged payments made to high school level basketball players and their families to entice them into attending schools where the sports brand served as a sponsor.

Gatto was found guilty on three separate counts namely: wire fraud; conspiracy to commit wire fraud with regard to the University of Louisville and wire fraud with regard to the University of Kansas. A consultant working for Adidas was also found guilty of two counts of fraud.

In a statement an Adidas spokesperson said: “We co-operated fully with the authorities during the course of the investigation and respect the jury’s verdict."

"We look forward to continuing to work with the NCAA and other stakeholders in a collaborative and constructive manner to improve the environment around college basketball. We have strengthened our internal processes and controls and remain committed to ethical and fair business practices."

Adidas refused to be drawn on what impact the case will have on Gatto’s employment status "at this time".

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