Former NBA forward Charles Oakley has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct stemming from his arrest last month after reportedly trying to cheat multiple times during a poker game at a Las Vegas casino.
Charles Oakley was arrested for trying to change his bet during a card game
Oakley, 54, was arrested on July 7 at the Cosmopolitan hotel and casino after reportedly trying to remove a $100 chip from the table during a poker game. Officials from the Nevada Gaming Board said the longtime New York Knicks enforcer “was suspected of adding to or reducing his wager on a gambling game after the outcome was known.” According to court documents, security footage of Oakley’s play at an Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em table confirmed that he had attempted to alter his bet on at least three occasions.
The 19-year NBA veteran, who made the Eastern Conference All-Star team in 1994 and twice earned All-Defensive Team honors, initially faced between one and six years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for “committing or attempting to commit a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment,” a felony in Nevada. By pleading no contest to a reduced charge, though, Oakley’s been able to avoid that outcome, according to TMZ Sports:
Oakley’s attorneys were able to cut a deal with prosecutors in which they reduced the felony to a misdemeanor … and ultimately, Oak will not serve ANY jail time. We’re told Oakley’s punishment is a $1,000 fine.
“Mr. Oakley has pled no contest to the simple misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct which fully resolves this situation,” Oakley’s attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, said in a statement. “He appreciates the professionalism of the District Attorney and the Cosmopolitan in resolving this event.”
Prior to his spot of trouble in Vegas, Oakley last made headlines in February 2017, when he was arrested and removed from Madison Square Garden — the arena he called home for 10 of his 19 NBA seasons, and where he became a fan favorite with his bruising defensive play — after an altercation with a security guard.
Oakley, who was charged with assault, harassment and criminal trespassing, denied any wrongdoing in the matter, claiming Garden security incited the incident. The Knicks and MSG said Oakley was lying about that, with owner James Dolan suggesting Oakley had a problem with alcohol before banning the franchise legend from the building where he played.
Last August, Oakley accepted a plea agreement in which all charges would be dismissed if he stayed out of trouble for six months; this past February, he completed that time period, and the case was officially dismissed. A civil suit filed by Oakley against Dolan and Madison Square Garden in September 2017, alleging defamation of character and libel, remains active, according to Ian Begley of ESPN.
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