Man charged with obstructing NCAA baseball game gambling investigation, feds say

Published 3:06 pm Wednesday, January 31, 2024

A man has been charged with obstructing a federal grand jury investigation in the Northern District of Alabama, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona and FBI Special Agent in Charge Carlton L. Peeples.

A one-count information filed earlier today in United States District Court charges Bert Eugene Neff, 49, of Indianapolis, Indiana, with one count of obstruction of justice. The charge arose from a scheme to impede an investigation into suspicious gambling activity surrounding a National Collegiate Athletic Association baseball game.

According to the Information, Neff engaged in a multi-month obstruction scheme that began in May 2023 and continued until January 2024. During the course of the scheme, Neff destroyed his cell phone, encouraged witnesses to destroy their cell phones and delete encrypted messaging applications, and provided false statements to federal investigators. The scheme culminated in October 2023 when Neff participated in a one-hour twenty-one-minute telephone call concerning topics related to the investigation with two witnesses the day before they were scheduled to testify before a grand jury in the Northern District of Alabama. All of this activity was designed to interfere with ongoing grand jury investigation.

According to the plea agreement, also filed today, Neff has agreed to plead guilty to the charge, The Court will set a date for Neff to enter his guilty plea.

The maximum penalty for obstruction of justice is ten years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorneys Edward J. Canter and Lloyd C. Peeples are prosecuting the case.

An information contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.