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One of two Detroit-area gamblers charged with conspiring to fix horse races and University of Toledo games is also accused of committing bank fraud in a land deal.


Mitchell "Ed" Karam of Troy, a 76-year-old developer, appeared in federal court in Detroit on Tuesday, nearly a week after he was named in two indictments. The indictments describe schemes to manipulate sports events by paying a jockey and former Toledo basketball and football players.

He was joined in court by Kashif Payne, 24, of Chester, Pa., who left the basketball team in November 2007. Not-guilty pleas were entered on behalf of both men.

Karam often covered his face with his hands as he waited for his name to be called.

"We contest the charges," defense lawyer Brian Legghio said outside court. "We're going to examine the evidence very closely."

The evidence includes phone calls secretly recorded by the FBI, involving Karam, co-defendant Ghazi "Gary" Manni of Sterling Heights, jockey Ricardo Valdes and Toledo players.

Authorities say Karam and Manni bet $407,000 on Toledo basketball games in 2005 and 2006 and paid players to shave points to control the final score. Seven ex-players — three in football and four in basketball — have been charged.


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