Former NBA 1st-Round Pick Sentenced to 10 Years In Prison

He had the world at his fingertips, but "frittered it away", and now is headed to prison for 10 years. A first-round pick of the New Jersey Nets (11th overall) in 2009, Terrence Williams has been sentenced to a decade behind bars in an NBA health care plan fraud. 

Williams, now 36, was fingered as the mastermind of the $5M fraud of the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan. The verdict, in addition to the 10-year sentence, also requires him to fork over more than $3M in forfeitures and restitution to the NBA. The scam involved Williams and his associates making alleged claims for fictitious medical and dental expenses.

“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 him. “You should have had enough money to be set for life, but you don’t.”

Williams earned nearly $7 million dollars in his four NBA seasons from 2009 to 2013. The alleged bogus invoices were submitted from 2017 through 2021. 

In addition to the Nets, Williams also played for the Boston Celtics, Houston Rockets and Sacramento Kings. He averaged 7.1 points and 3.6 rebounds in 19 minutes per game in his four years in the league. 

Photo: Keith AllisonCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons