Indiana man charged with destroying evidence in Alabama baseball betting scandal

Bert Neff, a real estate investor and youth baseball coach in Indiana, has been charged with destroying evidence, tampering with witnesses and providing false statements to the FBI in the case involving “suspicious wagering activity” concerning an Alabama–LSU baseball game in April.

The incident resulted in the firing of Alabama coach Brad Bohannon, who was found to be connected with betting activity in Ohio.

In the case against Neff, in documents filed Wednesday in the Northern District of Alabama, prosecutors allege that he received a message from an individual employed by the baseball team of a public university in Alabama — identified as Individual-1 in the charges — informing Neff that the school’s starting pitcher was injured and unable to pitch that day. Neff then allegedly screenshot the message and sent the information to other bettors.

With Neff’s information, individuals labeled as Gambler-1, Gambler-2, Gambler-3 and Gambler-4 all wagered on the April 28, 2023, game, according to the documents.

“Now they are throwing a bigger turd … f— man!!!! F—,” Neff sent to Gambler-1 in an encrypted message, the documents state. Neff told Gambler-3 that the game “became a 10000000000% winner.”

The Crimson Tide lost 8-6 after staff ace Luke Holman was scratched due to back tightness. On May 4, Bohannon was fired for “violating the standards, duties, and responsibilities expected of University employees.” There has been no evidence that any athletes were involved.

On the same day that Bohannon was fired, Neff allegedly replaced his mobile device and purchased a new cell phone in Kentucky. On May 19, Neff allegedly replaced his mobile device again, while allegedly advising Gambler-1 and Gambler-3 on multiple occasions to delete messages or destroy their cell phones in this time period.

Prosecutors contend that Neff provided the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office with false information in an August interview. They say Neff admitted to placing a wager at a BetMGM Casino after hearing about the pitcher’s injury, but before receiving confirmation that he was not going to play.

According to the charges, employees at BetMGM Casino declined to take additional wagers from Neff, who traveled to Belterra Park in Cincinnati to place an additional bet on the game, using a FanDuel kiosk.

In October, Neff allegedly advised one of the gamblers to not comply with a grand jury subpoena. Later that month, prosecutors say Neff and that gambler exchanged 20 text messages and 13 phone calls, including a call that lasted over an hour.

Neff continued contacting the other gamblers following their testimony before a grand jury in Alabama in October, according to authorities. As the four gamblers drove back to Indiana on Oct. 24, Neff allegedly sought to obtain additional information about the grand jury testimony that each had provided. On Jan. 2, Neff he allegedly met with Gambler-1 in person and attempted to discuss the federal investigation.

Sports Illustrated reported in May that Neff’s son, Andrew, is a pitcher at Cincinnati. The outlet also reported that two Cincinnati staffers, assistant Kyle Sprague and operations director Andy Nagle, were terminated May 17 for knowledge of Neff’s gambling activity, which the men did not report to school administrators.

Seamus Hughes of the New York Times contributed to this story.

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(Photo: John Korduner / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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