Terrence Williams Receives 10-Year Prison Sentence For NBA Fraud Scheme

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Boston Celtics v New York Knicks
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Terrence Williams #55 of the Boston Celtics in action against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 31, 2013 in New York City. The Knicks defeated the Celtics 108-89. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Williams is believed to fraudently claimed more than $4 million from a NBA healthcare program.

Terrence Williams, the 11th pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for "masterminding" a plan to defraud the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan. Williams, who played for the Nets, Rockets, Kings, and Celtics, used fraudulent medical invoices to claim money from the program designed to provide health benefits to current and former NBA players. Williams is one of 18 former players charged in the case. 13 have pled guilty, with Williams the first to be given a penal sentence.

“You were yet another player who frittered away substantial earnings from the period of time when you were playing basketball professionally,” Judge Valerie E. Caproni told Williams during sentencing. “You should have had enough money to be set for life, but you don’t.” While many of the former players in the case were journeymen, their career earnings still totaled $343 million. “I one million percent take full accountability for my role in this case,” Williams said, choking up as he blamed the scheme on "stupidity and greed." However, Judge Caproni was unsympathetic, stating that Williams used his big personality to "lure" friends and family into the scheme.

Williams Gets 10 Years

However, a 10-year prison sentence is not the only punishment that Williams will face. Williams must forfeit $650,000 in personal wealth as well as pay $2.5 million in restitution. Furthermore, Caprino ordered Williams to participate in a money management course. Williams has been incarcerated since May 2022. Prosecutors alleged that Williams had engaged in witness tampering by sending threatening texts to potential witnesses.

During sentencing, Williams said he was "humbled and humiliated" by the proceedings. However, he also blamed his criminal activity on an opioid addiction he reportedly developed from painkiller use to manage pain from lingering injuries. It's unclear where or when Williams, who resides in Seattle, will serve his time. Williams has six children, two of whom are above the age of 18. He said that he regretted that his prison sentence will separate him from his family. However, Judge Capriano said his behavior was "extortionate and aggressive" while his motivation "was greed."

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.