Federal Point Shaving Indictment

I don’t have any real basis for thinking this, but I suspect that most people probably think that point-shaving is undesirable behavior, but not necessarily criminal in nature.  Well, lest anyone think otherwise, the Detroit Free Press reports that six individuals have been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly violating 18 U.S.C. §§ 224 (“Bribery in Sporting Contests) and 1952 (“Interstate and Foreign Travel or Transportation in Aid of Racketeering Enterprises”).

The general provisions of section 224 state that it is a crime for an individual to conspire with others “to carry into effect any scheme in commerce to influence, in any way, by bribery and sporting contest, with knowledge that the purpose of such scheme is to influence by bribery that contest.”  It is punishable by a fine, up to five years in prison, or both.

Section 1952 is somewhat different.  It states that it is a crime for a person “travel[] in interstate or foreign commerce or use[] the mail or any facility in interstate or foreign commerce,” with the intent to distribute the proceeds of any criminal activity; commit any crime of violence to further any unlawful activity (this is not alleged in the indictment); or otherwise promote the carrying on of any unlawful activity.  Punishment for violating section 1952 is a fine, up to five years in prison, or both, unless a crime of violence is committed, in which case, the punishment can be a fine, up to twenty years in prison (life if death occurs), or both.

The indictment has been thoughtfully posted by the Detroit Free Press.  As with all indictments, it must be remembered that the individuals involved are innocent until proven guilty, and that anything in an indictment is merely an allegation.