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After pleading guilty to wire fraud charges and 14 other felonies, former “Basketball Wives LA” reality show cast member Brittish Williams has filed an appeal in St. Louis challenging her conviction based on sentencing guidelines. She believes the judge punished her excessively for being famous.
The 33-year-old was sentenced to four years in October after admitting to making false statements to the IRS, flipping people’s Social Security numbers, and other forms of fraud. Even with her appeal, she is obligated to pay $564,069 in restitution from multiple schemes she was a part of.
She was sentenced on Oct. 24 to serve four years in prison, which she believed was a too steep penalty handed down by the federal judge in the Eastern District of Missouri. She is asking a higher court to intervene. Williams’ lawyers are suggesting the judge did not use the correct guidelines to sentence her.
“Brittish Williams was punished today, not for fraud, but for her celebrity,” he said in a statement to People magazine. “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 added.
The lawyer suggested his client receive an 18-month sentence.
Brittish Williams running towards a person filming her an then bucking at them while saying, "Move that camera away".
( basketball wives sentenced 4 years faud felon mad angry threaten threatening ) pic.twitter.com/1NxMlSLR7s
— reaction encyclopedia (@gay_reactions) October 28, 2023
The four-year prison sentence is less than the pre-sentence investigation report’s suggestion of between a five-year and three-month prison sentence.
Federal sentences are typically hard to dispute due to strict judicial guidelines determining prison time and restitution.
According to the Justice Department, from 2017-2019, Williams underreported income and falsified dependents to evade taxes. Using stolen Social Security numbers, she opened unauthorized accounts, causing financial losses. She then created fake bank accounts with stolen identities, depositing checks without victims’ knowledge.
She admitted to filing nine fraudulent loan applications and diverting $144,400 for personal use through relief programs.
Williams also copped to pocketing $52,647 from Paycheck Protection Program loans, and she made false claims for COVID-19 relief that resulted in big money payouts.
Williams was indicted in 2021 and has since failed to file tax returns, listing herself as “exempt” at her $90,000 job. She participated in another money grab where she submitted fake medical bills and received $139,479.92 from this hustle.
U.S. District Judge Henry Autrey was clear on why he hit so hard in sentencing. It was her arrogance to do it while in the spotlight, saying she had a “fraudster mentality.”
“You knew what you were doing. You knew it was wrong and you did it anyway,” Autrey told Williams during the sentencing hearing.
“Not only are you out there for people to watch your entertainment,” he said, “but also for people to watch you. … That’s a big obligation.”
Watch Brittish Williams on the next episode of “Basketball Wives” tonight at 9 p.m. EST on VH1.