Magic Johnson defends ex-Laker in fraud scheme
With his former Michigan State and Lakers teammate facing a nine-year prison sentence for his involvement in a fraud scheme, Magic Johnson has asked the U.S. District Court to lighten Jay Vincent's sentence.
According to the Grand Rapids Press' John Ager, Johnson asked the judge to "have mercy" on Vincent and to consider giving him a "second chance and a light sentence" so that he could "reclaim his dignity and rejoin his family."
Vincent, who played for the Lakers in the 1989-90 season, is scheduled to be sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Robert Jonker after the government said Vincent's business, Foreclosure Bank Inspection Co., advertised for inspectors of foreclosed homes and required prospective inspectors to pay $149 for non-existent insurance coverage and $89 for a background check., the Grand Rapids Press report said.
Though he acknowledged Vincent for his wrongdoing and that he has to pay the victims back, Johnson praised his character when the two were roommates at Michigan State. Johnson described Vincent in his letter as "an incredible teammate with a tremendous heart."
“With all due respect to the parties involved, and my heart goes out to them," Johnson reportedly wrote. "I ask again that you consider his time served and have mercy on him and not allow this one incident of bad decision making to change the course of his life."
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Rick Friedman Reader Comment of the Day: "And considering what McHale ended up taking for Garnett, it's still funny that he would have turned down Odom and Bynum." -- baytola2
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Photo: Magic Johnson. Credit: Los Angeles Times