Trump Pardons Ex-49ers Owner Convicted in Gambling Fraud Scandal

By: Emma Tucker

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President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order granting clemency for Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the former owner of the San Francisco 49ers who was convicted in a gambling fraud scandal. DeBartolo—who has also been accused of sexual assault and reportedly paid $200,000 to settle the claims out of court—was involved in the 1998 corruption and gambling fraud case against former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards. The former real estate developer pleaded guilty in federal court in 1998 to failing to report a felony when Edwards allegedly extorted $400,000 from him in exchange for a riverboat gambling license. DeBartolo received two years probation and agreed to pay $1 million in penalties. The NFL forced DeBartolo to pass over ownership of the 49ers to his sister, Denise York, after his conviction.

Former 49ers players and NFL Hall of Fame inductees Jerry Rice, Charles Haley, and Ronnie Lott appeared outside the White House with former NFL player Jim Brown for the announcement. “He’s the main reason why we won so many Super Bowls,” Rice said. “So today is a great day for him. I’m glad to be here and be a part of that. It’s just something I will never forget. This man, he has done so much in the community, has done so much in NFL football.”

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