Maverick Carter, the longtime business partner and friend of Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James, bet on NBA games with an illegal bookie, The Washington Post reported Thursday after reviewing law enforcement records.
Carter met with federal agents in 2021 as they investigated bookie Wayne Nix, a former minor league pitcher who pled guilty in 2022 to one count of conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and one count of subscribing to a false tax return, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Nix's sentencing hearing is scheduled on March 6.
The case also involves former MLB player Yasiel Puig, who is accused of lying to federal law enforcement investigating Nix’s gambling operation. Puig has pled not guilty, and his trial is scheduled on Jan. 16.
“In 2021 and before 38 states and the District of Columbia legalized sports betting, Maverick Carter was interviewed a single time by federal law enforcement regarding their investigation into Wayne Nix,” Carter’s spokesperson, Adam Mendelsohn, said in a statement to the Post.
Carter told investigators he “could not remember placing any bets on the Lakers,” according to law enforcement records. Carter told investigators he made approximately 20 bets, each about $5,000-$10,000, on football and basketball games in a year.
Basketball Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen also admitted to placing one bet with Nix in a separate investigative report, according to the Post.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: LeBron James business partner bet on NBA games with illegal bookie