Reality TV show member, radio personality pleads guilty to nearly $450K in fraud

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Published: May. 24, 2023 at 2:39 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Brittish Williams, a cast member of the TV show “Basketball Wives” and co-host of “The Home Team Morning Show” on the 104.1 radio station, pleaded guilty Wednesday to 15 felonies, including pandemic fraud schemes. The frauds she pleaded guilty to amount to $446,000 in stolen funds.

Williams, 33, pleaded guilty to 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.

Williams was hired at 104.1 in 2022 while she was under federal indictment.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri said in a press release that Williams admitted under-reporting her income on recent tax returns and falsely claiming a niece and nephew as dependents. Prosecutors said she avoided more than $29,000 in taxes from 2017 through 2019.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said she used other people’s Social Security numbers to open accounts with credit card companies and banks. She also used those numbers to deposit checks totaling more than $23,000 from other people’s accounts and withdrew the money.

Three pandemic frauds and insurance fraud are included in Williams’ guilty plea. She submitted nine applications for disaster loans aimed at helping businesses during the pandemic, four applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, and one application for a rent relief program in California. The plea says she used $144,000 in government loans for her personal lifestyle.

Williams got $27,800 in rent relief after falsely claiming she was a California resident with a total household income of less than $50,000 and had reduced work hours. Her work hours were not reduced because of the pandemic, the plea says. Also, her rent was reimbursed by the network that produces “Basketball Wives,” a TV show that she was featured on.

She submitted more than $139,000 in fake medical bills to an insurance company.

Williams has not filed annual tax returns since she was indicted in October 2021. She listed herself as exempt from taxes on an employer form, which led to no taxes being withheld from her $90,000 salary.

She will be sentenced on August 23. She faces up to 30 years in prison for the bank fraud charges, 20 years for the wire fraud charges, and up to five years each for the five charges of misusing a Social Security number. She also faces up to $3.25 million in fines.