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TRACK AND FIELD

Agents Arrest Tim Montgomery

April 29, 2006|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Olympic gold medalist Tim Montgomery was arrested Friday on suspicion that he was connected to a multimillion-dollar bank fraud and money-laundering scheme.

A grand jury indictment unsealed in New York accused the sprinter, his track coach, Steven Riddick, and 12 other people of being involved in a conspiracy that deposited $5 million in stolen, altered or counterfeit checks over three years. Some of the money was laundered through two businesses owned by a New York couple accused of being behind the scam, according to the indictment.

Montgomery, the former 100-meter world-record holder who was banned last year from track and field after being implicated in the BALCO doping scandal, surrendered to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents in Norfolk, Va., on Friday morning and spent the afternoon in custody. Montgomery was released on $10,000 bond Friday night. His attorney, Robert McFarland, did not immediately return a phone message.

Investigators accused Montgomery of being a lesser player in a scheme hatched by lead defendants Douglas Shyne and Natasha Singh.

Shyne and Singh are accused of setting up sham businesses to take checks stolen from banks and either alter them or make counterfeit copies. Most of the checks involved accounts at large companies that didn't immediately notice the cash missing, federal agents said.

Montgomery knew the Shyne and Singh family through an acquaintance, according to the indictment. The sprinter deposited three bogus checks worth a total of $775,000, prosecutors said. He is accused of helping his coach, Riddick, deposit others worth at least $905,000. Prosecutors said Montgomery picked up a $20,000 fee for his role.

Riddick's attorney, Bryan H. Hoss, said his client is innocent and doesn't know Shyne or Singh.

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