NBA draft Terrence Williams received a sentence of ten years in prison on Thursday from a federal judge. The judge stated that the defendant “frittered away” large gains from his professional career and exploited his people skills to recruit others to assist him in his $5 million healthcare fraud scheme.
Terrence Williams, 36, of Seattle, was ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution and to forfeit more than $650,000 in assets for defrauding the National Basketball Association’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan between the years of 2017 and 2021 with the assistance of a dentist in the state of California and physicians in the states of California and Washington state. Claims for nonexistent medical and dental bills were submitted, which resulted in the generation of profits.
According to the prosecution, medical professionals produced fake bills and processed them by other individuals Williams recruited to commit fraud against the plan. This plan offers medical benefits to eligible active and past NBA players and their families.
Judge Valerie E. Caproni warned him that he was “another player who frittered away substantial earnings from the period of time when you were playing basketball professionally.” You ought to have enough money to be comfortable for the rest of your life, but you don’t.
The team known as the New Jersey Nets at the time of the draft selected Williams with the eleventh overall pick. Before calling it quits in 2013, he had spent time with the Nets, the Boston Celtics, the Houston Rockets, and the Sacramento Kings during his career.
In a case that resulted in criminal charges being brought against 18 former NBA players, Williams had previously entered a guilty plea to charges including conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud as well as aggravated identity theft. Thirteen individuals have entered guilty pleas so far. Many of those who have been found guilty have been given the sentence of “time served” or probation, which means that they will not have to spend any time in jail. According to the investigators, at least ten former players paid kickbacks to Williams, amounting to approximately $230,000.
The majority of the former players who have been charged had unremarkable careers, during which they played for various teams, and they never came close to attaining the level of immense stardom or money that is typical of elite players.
Despite this, the 18 players made a combined total of $343 million throughout their time playing in the NBA. This sum does not include money from endorsements or other sources, nor does it take into account any potential earnings from playing in other countries.
Williams frequently choked up as he blamed his crime on “stupidity and greed” and claimed that he regretted the fact that his incarceration would prohibit him from seeing his six children, two of whom are now adults. The punishment was not yet published when Williams made these statements.
“I take full accountability for my role in this case,” he stated, “one million percent.”
He added that he came to court “humble and humiliated” as he blamed his turn toward crime partly on an opioid addiction that emerged after he took painkillers to cope with the pain of lasting injuries from his professional career. He said that he blamed his move toward crime partly on an addiction that arose after he took painkillers to cope with the pain of lingering injuries from his professional career.
On the other hand, the judge stated that it appeared as though he utilized his great personality to persuade friends and others to assist him in a conspiracy to steal money since he did not want to look for a real job.
According to her, he was being “extortionate and aggressive” in his actions. She said that “greed” was the driving force behind his actions.
“You think about yourself first and foremost and not others,” Caproni replied to her.
She informed him that she would make it mandatory for him to take part in a class to educate him on how to handle money properly. She responded to my question about what she thought happened to his profits from the NBA by saying, “I guess that it was just frittered away on stupid stuff.”
According to the United States Attorney Damian Williams, the defendant, who was a collegiate football player for the University of Louisville, recruited medical professionals and other individuals to carry out a criminal conspiracy and maximize illegal gains.
“Williams not only stuffed his own pockets with money by lying and cheating, but he also took the identities of other people and threatened a witness to advance his illegal pursuits. Williams is looking at many years in prison as a result of his bold criminal activities.
Since May 2022, when prosecutors claimed that Williams had sent threatening phone texts to a witness in the case, Williams has been detained in a correctional facility.