'Basketball Wives' star Brittish Williams pleads guilty to 15 counts, including fraud
Brittish Williams, who starred in "Basketball Wives LA," pleaded guilty to 15 felonies this week in St. Louis.
Williams admitted to five counts of misuse of a Social Security number, four counts of bank fraud, three counts of making false statements to the IRS and three counts of wire fraud, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Missouri.
Williams first joined the cast of the VH1 show in its third season in 2014, when she became engaged to Lorenzo Gordon, who played basketball professionally overseas, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. In the show's most recent seasons, Williams' arrest and subsequent restrictions became a plot point when Williams couldn't go on a group trip to Mexico because of her ankle monitor.
The Department of Justice reports that some of the crimes Williams admitted to include underreporting her income on tax returns for 2017-2019; falsely claiming her niece and nephew as dependents, amounting to $29,366 in taxes owed; using Social Security numbers that do not belong to her to open bank accounts and lines of credit, amounting to $28,537 in failed payments; and using Social Security numbers to deposit "thousands of dollars’ worth of checks taken from other peoples’ accounts without their knowledge and withdrew the money," amounting to $23,850 in losses.
U.S. Attorney Sayler A. Fleming said the 33-year-old mother admitted to an "unusually large number of frauds that victimized taxpayers, banks, credit card companies, individuals and programs that were intended to help struggling businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Additionally, Williams admitted to three pandemic frauds and one insurance fraud. She submitted nine applications that contained false income and payroll information for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, four applications for the Paycheck Protection Program and one for the California COVID-19 Rent Relief program.
Williams received $144,000 in loans from two disaster applications to "fund her personal lifestyle," her plea agreement says. She received $52,647 in PPP loans and $27,801 in rental assistance even though her work hours were not reduced during the pandemic.
She also falsified medical bills to an insurance company for a total of $139,479.92 "paid to her, co-conspirators or both," the statement said. Since Williams' indictment in September 2021, she has not filed taxes and marked herself exempt from paying taxes on her $90,000 salary.
Ultimately, the DOJ tabulated almost $446,000 in losses.
Williams is scheduled to be sentenced Aug. 23.
Williams, who was also a radio personality in St. Louis, faces years in prison. Charges of misusing a Social Security number and making false statements each carry a potential 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. The wire fraud charges carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $1-million fine.
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.