Operation Flagrant Foul: Where is Tim Donaghy now and how much did he make betting?

The latest Untold documentary has landed on Netflix

Where is Tim Donaghy now
(Image credit: Netflix)

The latest instalment in the Untold documentary series on Netflix, Operation Flagrant Foul has landed, but many viewers are asking where is Tim Donaghy now?

Following on from other Netflix cult docuseries, showcasing the stories of catfish Ronaiah Tuiasosopo (opens in new tab), software inventor John McAfee (opens in new tab) and revenge porn criminal Hunter Moore (opens in new tab). Operation Flagrant Foul tells the story of Tim Donaghy, a former NBA referee who was at the centre of a gambling scandal - after he was found to be betting on his own matches to make money. He resigned from the league in 2007 after reports of an investigation by the FBI for allegations that he bet on games he he officiated during his last two seasons. In addition to making calls that affected the point spread in those games.

The documentary features sit down interviews with Tim, as well as his co-conspirators, Tommy Martino and Jimmy “The Sheep” Battista. So is it any surprise people are asking, where is Tim Donaghy now and did he go to prison? We share all the details of this gripping story.

Where is Tim Donaghy now?

Tim Donaghy now lives in Sarasota, Florida and makes a living as a landlord after investing in real estate. Recently, Tim worked in a gambling treatment centre before taking up the opportunity to referee a professional wrestling match for Major League Wrestling in 2021.

He also established a now-defunct betting website called RefPicks back in 2013 and is an occasional public speaker, sharing his sporting expertise and how his gambling ruined his life and career.

He has opened up about his regrets over his betting actions, saying: "Man, did I f*** my life up." He added: "I certainly am not shying away from the fact that I made some mistakes and I made some poor choices. It is what it is, and unfortunately, I have to live with it."

He continued that despite the controversy, life is good now and he's well and truly put the scandal behind him: "The whole situation is close to probably 10 years behind me now. I’m fortunate that I have a good family and good friends that have supported me. Things couldn’t be better.”

Tim has four daughters with his former wife Kimberly. They married in 1995 but she divorced him after the 2007 scandal.

Did Tim Donaghy go to jail?

On 29 July 2008, Tim was sentenced to 15 months in a federal facility in Pensacola, Florida, along with an order to pay a $500,000 fine and at least $30,000 in restitution to the government.

The prison sentence came after Tim pleaded guilty (opens in new tab) to one count each of conspiracy to engage in wire fraud as well as transmitting wagering information through interstate commerce in connection to the betting on 15 August 2007.

He served 11 months in a federal prison camp in Pensacola, Florida, and the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house. However, Tim was sent back to prison that August for violating his release terms after he was spotted at a health club when he was supposed to be at work.

He was released from prison (opens in new tab) under the stipulation of three years of probation on November 4, 2009, so he was officially a free man in 2012.

In December 2017, Tim was arrested for aggravated assault (opens in new tab) but released on a $5,000 bond and has not been rearrested since.

Where is Tim Donaghy now

(Image credit: Netflix)

How long did Tim Donaghy fix games?

Tim is thought to have fixed games during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons. In 2008, Attorney Jeffrey Goldberg said in a letter filed in Brooklyn Federal Court (opens in new tab) that Tim had bet on about 14 games that he officiated during the 2006-07 season.

Tim been gambling well before he joined the NBA, on the golf course and in card games, before placing tens of thousands of dollars in bets on his own games along with his co-conspirators Tommy Martino and Jimmy “The Sheep” Battista.

Tim has always insisted that he never fixed anything and he simply played the odds. However, the first 15 games of the 2006-07 season refereed by Tim Donaghy that had significant enough betting to move the point spread by 1.5 points or more were perfect against Vegas. 

This means that the he won 15 out of 15 times on his games. To put it into perspective, the odds of that happening are 32,768 to 1.

Tellingly, during the two years before (2003-2004) Tim called fewer fouls than the typical NBA referee. But during his last two seasons - when he was betting on his games - he called more fouls than average. And the odds of this change happening randomly are 19-to-1.

Where is Tim Donaghy now

(Image credit: Netflix)

How much did Tim Donaghy make betting?

The exact amount that Tim earned from his initial bets is unclear, but he received $2,000 per correct pick when the scandal started in 2006. However, some reports suggest that his calls were so accurate that his cut was soon increased to $5,000.

According to the former referee’s own estimates to the FBI, with his average 70-80% win rate, he made around $30,000 in total for passing information to the bookies. 

And Tim has admitted that he didn't even need the money. "[I] didn’t need the money. Between stock investments, between playoff bonuses, [and my salary], I was making well close to $400,000 a year," he said. 

He added: "I was near a line I shouldn’t have been near, and I jumped over it, giving picks on games that I was officiating in the NBA."

Tim Donaghy net worth

According to Landscape Insight (opens in new tab), Tim’s accumulated net worth is thought to be close to $3million. He was awarded $1.3million after suing his book’s publisher for not compensating him in 2012, following which he eventually started “investing in real estate and basically being a landlord.” 

He is thought to have amassed much of his fortune from his NBA refereeing career, where he earned $400,000 a year. 

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Tim Donaghy - Further research

Tim Donaghy, 55, was born in Pennsylvania on 7 January 1967 and worked in the NBA from 1994-2007. Before joining the NBA, he worked as a referee for high school basketball games and for the minor league CBA.

He has recently admitted that he wishes he was still an NBS referee. He said in the Netflix documentary: "I think I’d be lying if I said I wish I wasn’t still running up and down the floor with the greatest athletes in the world. 

"A lot of these guys that I officiated with, I felt like they were great friends, and it is difficult knowing it’s something I kind of threw away. You know, you wish you were still there.”

Tim claims that while he was in prison, he was attacked and threatened. He also claims that in November 2007, a man claiming to be an associate of the New York Mafia struck him with a paint roller extension bar, resulting in injuries to his knee and leg which required surgery.

Tim also featured in the 2016 documentary film Dirty Games - The dark side of sports. (opens in new tab)

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Tim Donaghy - podcast

In August 2020, sports journalist Tim Livingston started the podcast Whistleblower, which is all about the Tim Donaghy scandal. It has 12 episodes in total, but hasn't had an episode released since October 2020.

The synopsis on Apple reads: "This isn't a story about basketball - it's a story about money, and a conspiracy that spans far beyond one referee. Sports journalist Tim Livingston takes you inside his eight-year odyssey to find the truth at the heart of the scandal. This is Whistleblower."

Tim Donaghy - book

Tim wrote his memoir, Personal Foul: A First-Person Account of the Scandal that Rocked the NBA, while he was in prison. It was originally named Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA, but the book was canceled by publisher Triumph Books because of liability concerns.

It was subsequently published by the VTi-Group on 29 June 2010 with the new name.

A description of the book reads: "This is the decisive book that reveals exactly what was done and how it all happened. Which games were affected and how? Did referees target particular players or teams? Just how much did the NBA know and when? How did the mafia get involved? 

(opens in new tab)

Here all about the NBA betting scandal from the man himself - Tim Donaghy. The self-penned book gives his version of events, plus insider knowledge on the incident.


"The book answers all of these questions and more. Thrilling and poignant, Personal Foul takes readers on the journey of one man wrestling his own demons and shines a light on a culture of gambling and 'directive' officiating in the NBA that promises to change the way sports fans view the game forever. The book also includes a foreword by Phil Scala, the FBI Special Agent who worked the Gambino case."

Tim Donaghy - movie

The movie about Tim's Gambling scandal, Inside Game, was released in 2019. It was written by Andy Callahan and directed by Randall Batinkoff, starring Ugly Betty actor Eric Mabius as Tim Donaghy.

According to the official synopsis, the film tells 'the untold story of one of the biggest scandals in sports history.' It tells the story of how Tim got involved with Tommy Martino (played by Scott Wolf) and Jimmy “The Sheep” Battista (played by Will Sasso) - who are connected with organised crime - to bet on his games.

Speaking about the film, Tim recalled how it was his family that got him through the rough time. "That’s what comes out the most,” he said. “How we really screwed up and made some poor choices, but because we had strong families, we were able to get through it. Have our families stand by us.”

American audiences can watch the film via Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab) - though it's sadly not available in other territotires as yet.

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