Just as the federal government relied on tax fraud to prosecute Al Capone, the long history of sports corruption is peopled by defendants prosecuted for tangential misdeeds — Cincinnati Reds manager Pete Rose, for example, who bet on his own team but was convicted of filing false income tax returns.

Add to that list Tim Donaghy, the ex-National Basketball Association referee who was sentenced Tuesday by a federal judge in Brooklyn to 15 months in prison for providing gamblers with tips on basketball games based on his insider access to the athletes.

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