Former Nets swingman Terrence Williams has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for defrauding the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan for former players, per Priscilla DeGregory of The New York Post.
In 2021, Williams and 17 other ex-NBA pros were charged for an elaborate plot to steal $5MM from the league. Last year, he pled guilty to coordinating the scheme, which required he and his fellow ex-players cumulatively submit at least that amount in phony claims between 2017 and 2021. Williams also earned $346K in kickbacks for setting up the operation, DeGregory notes.
The most notable name on the list of additional players charged was former six-time All-Defensive Team shooting guard Tony Allen, who won a title with the Celtics as a reserve in 2008.
As part of an already established plea agreement, Williams was also ordered to pay $3.1MM in restitution and forfeitures. $2.5MM of that sum will be doled out in restitution to the league’s health care plan, while $650K will be forfeited to the federal government.
“Williams recruited medical professionals and others to expand his criminal conspiracy and maximize his ill-gotten gains,” the case’s prosecutor said, per DeGregory. “Williams not only lined his pockets through fraud and deceit, but he also stole the identities of others and threatened a witness to further his criminal endeavors.”
The then-New Jersey Nets selected Williams with the No. 11 pick in the 2009 draft out of Louisville. He spent just a year-and-a-half with the Nets, and subsequently bounced around during a brief four-season NBA career. Across 153 regular season games with the Nets, Rockets, Kings and Celtics, Williams averaged 7.1 PPG on .412/.317/.659 shooting splits, 3.6 RPG, 2.4 RPG and 0.5 SPG.
In addition to a later stint with the Lakers’ NBAGL affiliate, then called the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the 6’6″ shooting guard/small forward also played for international clubs in China, Turkey, the Dominican Republic, the Philipines, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Israel, and Venezuela.