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Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Critics have argued that reality television shows reflect reality in ways that are deceptive or even fraudulent. Through misleading editing or from coaching participants on what to say and how to behave, generating storylines ahead of time, or staging and restaging scenes for the cameras. Sounds like fraud? Reality TV and fraud maybe are the same for some. British Williams was getting paid to portray her celebrity lifestyle on “Basketball Wives” when in fact, she was a typical fraudster profiting off lies in a wide range of schemes.

Williams started moving into real life fraud in 2017 when she began to file income tax returns blatantly underreporting her income and falsely claiming dependents to avoid paying taxes. She also used stolen Social Security numbers to open false accounts with credit card companies. Looking good for TV doesn’t come cheap. Furthermore, Williams opened bank accounts using these unauthorized Social Security numbers to commit bank fraud by depositing checks taken from other people’s accounts without their knowledge.

With Williams’ reality TV career and bank and income tax fraud businesses now coming to an end due to her scheming ways, Williams turned to an even easier scheme. In 2020, Williams submitted fraudulent applications for the COVID-19 CARES Act Economic Injury Disaster loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans. These applications contained false income and payroll information about her businesses of lies and fraudulent schemes that awarded her almost $200,000 in fraudulent loans.

Reality TV stars and fraudsters may seem one and the same, but one thing is very different. Fraudsters go to jail for their lies. On October 23, 2023, William’s was sentenced to four years in prison.
Great job by the U.S. Small Business Association.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Basketball Wives’ Brittish Williams Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Multiple Fraud Felonies” published by People Magazine on October 24, 2023
Brittish Cierrah Williams was 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.

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