basketball wives British star “Cierrah” Williams faces decades in prison after pleading guilty to 15 federal charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and PPP loan fraud, prosecutors say.
The St. Louis, Missouri-area radio personality entered a plea on Wednesday (May 24) before a federal judge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said in a news release.
Among the 15 counts Williams pleaded guilty to were – five counts of misusing a Social Security number; four counts of bank fraud; three counts of making false statements to the IRS; and three counts of wire fraud.
“British Williams has admitted to an unusually high number of frauds suffered by taxpayers, banks, credit card companies, individuals and programs to help struggling businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic “said U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming. “This is a first step towards justice for these victims. We will also seek reimbursement of all his ill-gotten gains.
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Williams was charged in September 2021 and initially pleaded not guilty.
Prosecutors said she under-reported her income on tax returns for 2017-2019 and falsely declared a niece and nephew as dependents.
She was also accused of using fake social security numbers in 2017 to obtain loans, lines of credit and other funds from banks and financial institutions. Additionally, prosecutors said she defrauded the federal Paycheck Protection Program and applied for a pandemic rent relief program in California.
The case was investigated by the IRS, the Social Security Administration and the FBI.
Williams appeared in the third season of VH1 LA basketball wives in 2014 and returned to the franchise this year for season 10 of basketball wives.
She was previously engaged to Lorenzo Gordon, who played basketball at Illinois State University and Oklahoma City University, then overseas in France, Turkey, Israel, in Germany and Argentina. Gordon appeared in Season 10 of basketball wives during a fight with her ex over their daughter.
Williams discussed her legal issues in the reality series’ season 10 trailer, which concluded with the season finale on May 1.
“I’m still facing fraud charges,” she said while wearing an ankle monitoring bracelet. “I could go to jail.”
Following his guilty plea this week, Williams released a statement in a since-deleted Instagram post captured by The shadow room and said she was “not ashamed”.
“Everything I’ve been through that a normal person would have gone through in private, I’ve been through in public. I hope my story, journey and growth can help someone go through something similar or prevent the next person from doing anything that could possibly put them in the same situation as me,” she began.
“I’m not ashamed, I’m not phased by comments or opinions. I’m proud of the woman and mother I am TODAY. Everything I’ve been through, I had to go through. I learned patience, humility and above all compassion for all walks of life,” she added. “I don’t believe in losses. Just lessons to make better decisions in the future! I t love and thank you for rocking with me.
Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on August 23 and faces decades in prison.
The charges of misusing a Social Security number and making false statements each carry a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Bank fraud charges carry penalties of up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both. Wire fraud charges carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
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