sentenced to 5 years in Rick Tocchet gambling case
Five years was the sentence
given to the former New Jersey State trooper in the Rick Tocchet
illegal betting ring.
Harney, an ex-trooper for the state of New Jersey, was sentenced
on Friday to 5 years behind bars for his part in the illegal
gambling ring involving the retired NHL player Rick Tocchet.
The defendants in the illegal betting ring
- James Harney, Rick Tocchet and James Andrew Ulmer have all
pleaded guilty to accepting bets and promoting gambling,
however, many experts agree that besides Harney, everybody else
will walk out without any jail time. The reason - James Harney
was an active police officer during the time the gambling
enterprise operated, and authorities say he even took bets while
on duty from his patrol car.
According to Harney's attorney, Craig
Mitnick, the ex-trooper's testimony was the factor which made
the former Flyer Rick Tocchet and Ulmer plead guilty to the
charges. He also hinted that Harney gave enough information to
put Tocchet behind bars, but the information could not be
confirmed. "Players stand together," added Mitnick.
According to Rick Tocchet's testimony, him
and James Harney started taking bets toward the end of 2002.
Most of the bettors were described as friend of Tocchet, some of
them athletes and celebrities. The identity of the bettors have
not been revealed, but sources have said that another former
Flyer, Jeremy Roenick, and the wife of hockey great Wayne
Gretzky are among them. According to James Harney, Rick Tocchet
was an equal partner in the illegal betting ring, providing
financial back-up to cover losing bets and getting a cut of the
When the scandal broke in 2006, Rick
Tocchet was an assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes, with
Wayne Gretzky being the head coach of the team. Tocchet has left
the job since, and hopes that he would be able to avoid NHL ban.
He will be sentenced on August 24th.
Published on 08/04/2007