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Brittish Williams Gets 4 Years In Prison For Numerous Fraud Counts


American reality star, Brittish Cierrah Williams,  has been sentenced to four years in prison for her involvement in tax fraud, bank fraud, insurance fraud, and pandemic-related scams.

 

The former Basketball Wives star pleaded guilty to 15 felonies, including 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, the U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri said in a statement.

 

“Brittish Williams was punished today, not for fraud, but for her celebrity," Williams' attorney, Beau Brindley, tells PEOPLE. "The Court chose to treat her more harshly due to her status as a public figure rather than treating similarly situated defendants equally.” 

 

“Ms. Williams success is not a crime subject to enhanced penalty. And we will challenge this sentence through every legal means available,” Brindley said.

 

In addition to the four-year prison sentence, Williams, 33, will be on supervised release for five years after her release from prison and was ordered to pay $564,069 in restitution.

 

Tuesday’s decision follows Brindley’s suggestion of an 18-month sentence and the pre-sentence investigation report’s suggestion of a ​​63-month prison sentence. 

 

"You knew what you were doing. You knew it was wrong and you did it anyway," U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey told Williams during the sentencing hearing.

 

"Not only are you out there for people to watch your entertainment, but also for people to watch you. … That's a big obligation,” Autrey said, per Riverfront News.

 

In Williams' plea agreement, she admitted to under-reporting her income on tax returns for 2017-2019, as well as falsely claiming a niece and nephew as dependents, which as a result abled her to avoid paying $29,366 in taxes. 

 

 

The reality TV star also “fraudulently used Social Security numbers not assigned to her to open accounts with credit card companies and banks,” the U.S. Attorney's Office said. Williams did not pay the accounts that she opened, resulting in various victims losing $28,537. 

 

The stolen Social Security numbers were also used to commit bank fraud after Williams deposited checks and withdrew the money from the victims, prosecutors said. This caused an additional $23,850 in losses.

 

The Basketball Wives star also submitted nine applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which were intended to help struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Williams falsified her business income, payroll and her criminal history. This resulted in $144,400 from the loans, which she then used to fund a lavish lifestyle, per her plea agreement.

 

Williams received $52,647 from four Paycheck Protection Program loans which are used by small businesses seeking funds to cover up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits.

 

 Williams was indicted in 2021 and since then she applied for the California COVID-19 Rent Relief program. She falsely claimed that she was a California resident with a total annual household income of $50,000, and due to the pandemic, she could not pay her rent due to a “reduction in hours of work,” prosecutors said. She received $27,801. 

 

Since her 2021 indictment, Williams had not filed annual tax returns and listed herself as “exempt” on a form with her former radio station employer. This resulted in no taxes being withheld from her $90,000 salary, according to prosecutors.

 

Additionally, she submitted fake medical bills to at least one insurance company, leading to her, her co-conspirators, or both receiving $139,479.92, prosecutors said.

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