Tim Donaghy Reportedly Threatening His Own Book Publisher With Mob Muscle

↵Tim Donaghy really wants his money and won't rest until his book publisher gives up the goods. A report in the Philadelphia Daily News indicates that Donaghy has made threatening phone calls to employees of VTi-Media, mentioning his mob affiliations in an effort to persuade them to pay up. ↵

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↵⇥"We've had to lock our office doors and get escorted to our cars," said Shawna Vercher, chief executive of VTi, which in December published Donaghy's blockbuster book, "Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal That Rocked the NBA." ↵⇥

↵⇥Vercher said that Donaghy has been contacting company employees and book vendors with "increasingly irate and threatening calls," demanding money for his book. ↵⇥

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↵⇥"One thing he said in particular is that, 'You know I have associates in the Gambino crime family and they are active in this part of the state,' " Vercher said. "This stuff has gotten really ugly, really quickly." ↵⇥

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↵The report also indicates that Donaghy denied threatening anyone, calling Vercher "vindictive." It seems he just wants to know how many books he actually sold, and where the money – or at least his cut – has gone. Donaghy admitted the feud has gotten out of control, stating, "It just went downhill quick, and all I wanted to know was how much money was in the bank and to see the statements." ↵

↵Vercher stated that the company cannot send the profits directly to Donaghy, but rather to the U.S. Attorney's office, presumably due to laws that prohibit people from making money off their own crimes. She said that the final numbers will be crunched by July after the requisite timeframe for vendors to return unsold copies. Donaghy thinks she stole the money and calls the claims of threats – and need for a restraining order – "absurd." ↵

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↵Vercher said that they've recorded some of Donaghy's threats and complaints: ↵

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↵⇥"We have some of his outbursts on tape,'' she said. "He's not aware of this." ↵
↵That, in and of itself, may be a crime. According to the Citizen Media Law Project, the state of Florida – where VTi is located – has a two-party consent law, which means that it's a crime to "intercept or record a 'wire, oral, or electronic communication' in Florida, unless all parties to the communication consent." If these outbursts took place in, say, a park or busy restaurant, they are legally allowed to record Donaghy without his knowledge. If they were in a private office, or (likely) on the phone, not only could the recordings be inadmissible in any court, those who recorded the conversation would be admitting to breaking state and potentially federal law. ↵

↵Of course, taping a conversation without a guy knowing probably isn't as bad as saying you're going to send the Gambinos after someone. ↵

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↵Donaghy announced that he's putting his book out in paperback, through a different publisher. He's also planning a second book. Who knows, maybe he'll eventually start a pretzel business too. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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