NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Tyson's taking a beating. This time, it's not in the ring or the tabloids.

Instead, witnesses in an obscure racketeering case have linked the once-feared boxer to talk of two murder schemes in his old neighborhood. They claim he bankrolled one. In the other, Tyson himself was considered a potential target but was spared for religious reasons.

Tyson has denied knowing anything about the mayhem surrounding a ruthless drug gang at the center of the case. But his name was dropped several times during recent testimony at the trial of an alleged getaway driver in two slayings.

At closing arguments Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Haran reminded jurors the "evidence was that Mike Tyson put up $50,000 to kill" two men. Defense attorney Richard Levitt cautioned that the witness who described the Tyson murder-for-hire plot is "unquestionably a liar."

Tyson issued a statement calling the accounts "totally untrue." He said he was "tired of people throwing my name around."