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May 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Book Publisher Claims Convicted ex-NBA Ref Invoked Name of Gambino Crime Family in Tiff Over Money

bookcoverfrontBy Allan Lengel

The Florida book publisher for convicted ex-NBA ref Tim Donaghy claims the ref has threatened to hurt somebody if he doesn’t get money for his book, and has even invoked the name of the Gambino crime family to show he’s serious, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

The tiff came to light this week when his book publisher VTi-Media of Florida severed ties with Donaghy “due to safety concerns”, the paper reported. In December, the firm published his popular book “Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA.”

“We’ve had to lock our office doors and get escorted to our cars,” Shawna Vercher, chief executive of VTi told the Daily News.

Vercher told the Daily News that Donaghy had been threatening company employees and book vendors and demanding money for the book.

“One thing he said in particular is that, ‘You know I have associates in the Gambino crime family and they are active in this part of the state,’ ” Vercher told the Daily news. “This stuff has gotten really ugly, really quickly.”

Donaghy, who served a little over a year in federal prison on wire-fraud and gambling charges for betting on NBA games, called the allegations nonsense and said he only wanted to know how many books had been sold and where the doe is, the Daily News reported.

“Absolutely not, there’s nothing to that at all,” he said of the allegations. “It came down to the fact that I asked for the accounting, which I’m allowed to do per my contract with them, and they didn’t provide me with the accounting . . . It just went downhill quick, and all I wanted to know was how much money was in the bank and to see the statements.”

Vercher told the paper that the money is in a holding account, and the company will tally profits by July — the deadline vendors have to  return unsold books.

She added: “We have to send [the profits] to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and not him directly.”

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