Olympic sprint champion Tim Montgomery on Monday pleaded guilty in connection with a multimillion-dollar bank fraud and money laundering scheme, his lawyer said.
"I sincerely regret the role I played in this unfortunate episode," Montgomery said in a statement following the plea. "I have disappointed many people, and for that I am truly sorry."
Montgomery's plea deal "reflects his minor role" in an alleged conspiracy and does not require him to testify at the trial of his former coach, Steven Riddick, and other co-defendants, according to his lawyers. That trial was scheduled to begin yesterday.
Defense attorneys said Montgomery could be sentenced to 37 to 46 months in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 1. The US attorney's office had no immediate comment.
At Monday's hearing, prosecutor Danya Perry told the judge that the government had ample evidence that Montgomery had conspired with others to deposit checks that he knew were counterfeit.
Montgomery, 32, was charged last year along with Riddick, and 11 others in an alleged conspiracy to deposit US$5 million in stolen, altered or counterfeit checks at several banks over three years.
An alleged coconspirator, Ephraim Richardson, previously pleaded guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.