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Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy reportedly continued his poor decision-making ways during his prison term which ended in 2009. In a recent interview with Pat Jordan for New York Magazine, the 48-year-old habitual cheater admitted to joining a white power gang for protection from his fellow inmates.

Why did he need protection you may ask? He dropped a dime on a few guys who were gambling. Oh-the-motherf*cking irony.

Donaghy didn’t much like prison. “Too many criminals,” he says. Men who had killed informants, meth dealers, wives. He called his mother: “Mom! Oh my God! I don’t belong here! I could get killed.” But that didn’t stop him from ratting out his fellow inmates for gambling. Then he joined a white-power gang to avoid retribution (he didn’t want to get the tattoo and says they let him shave his head instead).

When he was paroled in 2009, he returned to Sarasota and slept on a sofa in his friend’s office. His daughters were humiliated and his ex-wife hated him, he says, so, in despair, he visited his parents’ home on the Jersey Shore. He sat with his father in an office decorated with memorabilia from his father’s NCAA refereeing career. Donaghy noticed “a sizable void on the wall” that had once been filled by a framed newspaper photograph of Donaghy and his father as two famously respected referees. When I ask Donaghy if he’s reconciled with his father, he says, yes, they’re close again. “Did your father put back up that framed newspaper photo of you two as refs?” I ask. “No,” he says.

We are driving around Sarasota, in a middle-class neighborhood of concrete-block homes with scruffy grass yards. Donaghy’s a landlord here and points out homes he owns while he talks.

He says his first job out of prison was as “a counselor at a gambling-treatment center, but the guy never paid me.” He had other offers, from gamblers, Vegas, bookies, to be an NBA handicapper, but his probation officer forbade him to take any job related to gambling until his parole was up. “I was on ice,” Donaghy says, before his book, Personal Foul, came out. But the book didn’t make any money, according to his publisher, Shawna Vercher. Donaghy was certain she “was trying to steal my money.” Vercher claimed she sent all of Donaghy’s royalties to the U.S. Attorney’s office as restitution for his crimes.

Read the rest of New York Mag’s profile right here.

Photo: The Artie Lange Show YouTube