Coach guilty of bank fraud

NEW YORK - Athletics coach Steve Riddick has been found guilty in federal court of bank fraud and money laundering.

NEW YORK - Athletics coach Steve Riddick has been found guilty in federal court of bank fraud and money laundering.

The charges stem from a scheme in which disgraced sprinter Tim Montgomery was also involved, prosecutors said on Friday.

Riddick, a 1976 Montreal Olympic gold medallist, and businessman Nathaniel Alexander were found guilty by a jury of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering late on Thursday after a trial lasting one month.

Montgomery, who retired in 2005 after receiving a two-year ban for doping that also wiped out his 100m world record, had last month pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two counts of bank fraud in the same case.

Montgomery's agent, Charles Wells, also pleaded guilty.

Prosecutor Michael Garcia said the conspirators procured stolen, altered or counterfeit cheques then cashed or attempted to cash them.

Prosecutors presented evidence during Riddick's trial that the coach himself funneled about $200 000 (about R1,3 million) cheques back to his co-conspirators, and Alexander did the same with at least $150  000 (about R1,04 million), including a $25 000 (about R139 000) cheques to Riddick's sister and a $25000 cheque to athletics star Marion Jones, Montgomery's then girlfriend.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 12. - Sapa-AFP

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