A former NBA player in North Carolina is facing a nine-month jail term after he failed to pay more than a half-million dollars in child support. The man, Kenny Ray Williams, is a veteran player from the Indiana Pacers, having spent time on the squad in the 1990s. The overdue child support payments reportedly date back to the mid-1990s, when the man was initially ordered to pay more than $3,000 per month for his children.
Documents show the man owes more than $660,000 in overdue support to his children’s mother. The children are now grown adults in their 20s, but they were forced to rely on welfare and state aid after Williams chose to avoid making payments.
Williams has spent much of the past decade overseas, having fled from a plea bargain that would have resolved the child support case in 2000. The man reportedly reneged on the agreement 13 years ago, and prosecutors recommended that he be sent to prison. The player fled the United States and the process was put on hold because his attorneys argued that he could not afford a return trip to the United States. That assertion was drawn into question after the man’s pay was revealed. He has been playing professional basketball in Israel and earning a sufficient salary. In addition, the man was known for his affinity for fancy cars and plush accommodations during the heyday of his career.
Prosecutors have ordered the man to serve the nine-month term with credit granted for time served. He is also required to pay back the full amount in overdue child support, consisting of $661,277 in restitution funds.
Even though child support payments may not seem as important as other financial obligations, it is important to remember that failure to abide by your child support agreement can, in fact, land you in jail. Both payers and recipients of child support should know that they have legal options in court to protect their financial rights.
www.newsobserver.com, “Former NBA player goes to prison for failing to pay child support” Anne Blythe, Aug. 20, 2013