Former NBA Player Sentenced to Prison for Failing to Pay More Than $600,000 in Child Support
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 20, 2013|
RALEIGH—United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that today in federal court, United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle sentenced Kenneth Ray Williams, 44, of Elizabeth City, North Carolina, to nine months’ imprisonment, followed by one year of supervised release. Williams was also ordered to pay $661,277.00 in restitution.
Williams was named in an indictment filed on July 6, 2000, charging him with willful failure to pay child support in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 228(a)(3). On August 23, 2000, Williams pled guilty to that charge.
According to the investigation and information in the public record, Williams was first ordered to pay $2,500 in child support. At the time, Williams was playing basketball with the Indiana Pacers. By 1994, he was earning a salary of $750,000 a year. Despite the salary, he did not pay any support. In 1995, the support award was amended to include his third child, and he was ordered to pay $3,750 per month for the support of his three children.
Despite earning salaries between $90,000 and $180,000 a year between 1995 and December 2000, Williams failed to support his children. While he played basketball, drove fancy cars, and lived overseas, his former wife and three children were receiving Welfare and Aid to Families with Dependent Children benefits.
In July 2001, he caused his attorney to file a motion to continue a sentencing hearing set for July 31, 2001, claiming that he could not afford to travel to the United States. Unbeknownst to his lawyer, Williams was in the United States from July 12, 2001 through July 29, 2001, playing basketball with the Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets. Williams left the country and has remained overseas.
Williams failed to appear for a sentencing hearing in August 2001 and a warrant for his arrest was issued. Williams remained a fugitive until he was finally arrested on March 11, 2013.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Valuable assistance was provided by the Albermarle Child Support Enforcement Agency. Assistant United States Attorney Banumathi Rangarajan handled the prosecution on behalf of the United States Attorney’s Office.