CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Eric Leak, a former football player at North Carolina State University in the late 1990′s and early 2000′s, pleaded guilty Friday to bribing college athletes to hire him as their professional sports agent.
Court records made public following the plea hearing show Leak pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit promotional money laundering.
“Specifically, Mr. Leak on multiple occasions from 2012 through at least 2015 provided and caused to be provided things of value to student-athletes, and in at least one instance a student athlete’s family member, to influence those student-athletes to retain the services of Hot Shots and others affiliated with Hot Shots,” a court document outlining the factual basis for Leak’s guilty plea said.
Hot Shots is the name of the financial management firm Leak owned through which he acted on behalf of professional football and basketball players, the court documents said.
Leak’s guilty plea on the bribery-related charges comes roughly one year after he pleaded guilty in a separate case related to paying kickbacks under a federal health care program through a different company he operated.
The court documents filed in connection with Friday’s plea said Leak transferred money from the healthcare company to Hot Shots, the sports agency, to facilitate the paying of bribes.
A court document signed by Leak’s attorneys say the value of the bribes ranged between $50,000 and $75,000.
“As Leak and his coconspirators knew, the payment of bribes to student athletes exposed the student athletes’ schools to tangible economic harm, including, among other things, monetary fines, restriction son athlete recruitment and the distribution of athletic scholarships, and the potential ineligibility of the schools to participate in various NCAA programs and tournaments,” the court document said.
The court document further said Leak concealed his bribes from both the NCAA and the respective schools.
An email to Leak’s attorneys late Monday morning seeking comment went unanswered.