Iowa Student Pleads Guilty in Final Sports Betting Probe Case

A University of Iowa student basketball manager has agreed to pay a $645 fine over charges of underage sports betting.

Evan Schuster, 22, filed a guilty plea in Johnson County Court, Iowa, this week. His acceptance of these charges should mean the dismissal of a criminal case also filed against him under similar allegations.

The plea deal marks the last of 25 cases filed as part of controversial sports betting probe among student athletes at the University that began in 2023.

18 student athletes confessed to the charges. Each received the same $645 fine as Schuster.

Six athletes had charges against them dismissed. Lawyers for those defendants successfully claimed that the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation’s methods were unlawful.

The Underage Bets

Schuster admitted placing one bet while underage. The criminal complaint filed against him said he placed a total of 2,000 bets on the FanDuel sportsbook between 2021 to 2023.

That included 10 bets on the University of Iowa men’s basketball team during the time he was a student coach.

The complaint also said that Schuster placed his bets from an account registered to his father, Tony Schuster. That would constitute records tampering, for which the state filed criminal charges.

This acceptance of the lesser charges should see the criminal case dismissed.

The Wider Investigation

Schuster’s plea brings to an end a controversial affair for the University.

19 students have admitted underage betting. But it could have been a lot worse.

Six students were facing hefty criminal charges. However, defense attorneys produced evidence that investigators’ methods were unlawful and the cases were dropped.

Division of Criminal Investigations (DCI) agents reportedly deceived students as to the potential criminal charges against them. Agents also apparently accessed cell phone and geolocation data without an appropriate warrant.

“I knew this thing was a mess, and I knew it was mismanaged, and I knew it was mishandled,” said Iowa State wrestling coach Kevin Dresser earlier this year, per the Des Moines Register.

Defense attorneys presented sworn testimony from one agent who pressured to get a confession from a student. That confession was based on grounds it would lead to lesser charges, despite superiors knowing full well they intended to file a criminal complaint.

They also highlighted a letter from gambling geolocation tech provider GeoComply. The lead provider of such services said it cut off the DCI from using their Kibana software in January.

Investigators had been “exceeding the intended outlined scope of its Kibana access-and-use privileges,” the letter said.

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