As a college basketball bribery scandal rocks the sport, questions are firing up faster than they can be answered.
One of the biggest questions: Who is Jim Gatto, the Adidas executive arrested following the FBI’s investigation?
Gatto is at the center of one of the schemes alleged by the FBI, according to the complaint. The bureau alleges Gatto used Adidas money to pay high school students and their families up to six-figure sums to go to Adidas-affiliated colleges, and then sign agreements with Adidas when they got into the NBA. The FBI alleges Gatto conspired with coaches to do so. The complaint claims payments were disguised on the company’s books and paid through management companies.
Gatto serves as Adidas’ director of global sports marketing for basketball. According to his LinkedIn, Gatto worked for Adidas since 1993 — a total of 24 years. If his profile page is up to date, Adidas has been Gatto’s only employer since graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Elmira College in 1992.
Gatto also helped found the Adidas Nations basketball tournament back in 2014, according to Bleacher Report. The event is an opportunity for high school and international students to play in front of college scouts and coaches, setting the stage for recruitment opportunities.
Gatto was the top Adidas executive arrested on Tuesday as part of the FBI and DOJ’s investigation.
“Today, we became aware that federal investigators arrested an Adidas employee,” an Adidas representative told Business Insider in an email. “We are learning more about the situation. We’re unaware of any misconduct and will fully cooperate with authorities to understand more.”
The government did not name Adidas, as the company itself is not being charged. Gatto had his phone wiretapped by the FBI as part of the investigation.
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