Olympic Sprinter Tim Montgomery Pleads Guilty

Monday, April 9th 2007, 11:58 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Olympic gold medalist Tim Montgomery pleaded guilty Monday in connection with a multimillion-dollar bank fraud and money laundering scheme, his lawyer said.

Attorney Robert McFarland declined to discuss details of the plea. The U.S. attorney's office had no immediate comment.

Montgomery was charged last year along with his track coach, Steven Riddick, and 11 others in an alleged conspiracy to deposit $5 million in stolen, altered or counterfeit checks at several banks over three years.

Montgomery, 32, had been awaiting trial along with Riddick and other co-defendants. An alleged coconspirator, Ephraim Richardson, previously pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The government had accused Montgomery of participating in a plot created by two other defendants who set up sham businesses to take checks stolen from banks and alter them or make counterfeits.

Montgomery allegedly deposited three bogus checks worth a total of $775,000. He also was accused of helping Riddick deposit others worth at least $905,000 and accepting a $20,000 fee for his role. Riddick, a 1976 Olympic medalist, has maintained his innocence.

Montgomery was a 2000 Olympic gold medalist and a former 100-meter world record holder. He retired in 2005 after he was banned from track and field for two years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport for doping linked to the investigation of BALCO, the lab at the center of a steroid scandal in sports.

Montgomery never tested positive for drugs, and has said he never knowingly took any banned substances.

All of Montgomery's performances after March 31, 2001, were wiped off the books, including his world record dash of 9.78 seconds in 2002. Montgomery won his gold medal in the 400-meter relay at the 2000 Olympics.