Washington’s NBA career spanned more than a decade, and one of his most memorable moments occurred when he clocked (and ended the career of) Houston Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich in an on-court altercation in 1977.
“Individuals who use charitable organizations to defraud donors and evade tax obligations inflict substantial harm on every U.S. taxpayer and cause untold damage to well-intentioned charitable endeavors,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Caroline Ciraolo said in a statement. “The Department (of Justice) is committed to identifying those engaged in such criminal conduct and holding them accountable.”
Kermit was head of the charity Project Contact Africa (PCA), where he claimed 100% of the proceeds would be donated to Africa. Instead, he allegedly used money from the charity to fund his lavish lifestyle, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors claim PCA’s primary donor was California attorney Ron Mix, a former NFL player who now handles workers compensation claims against pro leagues on behalf of ex-athletes. Washington allegedly funneled clients in his direction and Mix, in turn, made contributions to PCA, MSN.com reports.
“Upon receipt of these payments, Kermit diverted the funds for his own personal benefit,” the Department of Justice said in a news release. “ Washington and alleged co-conspirator, Reza Davachi, also used eBay and PayPal to “unjustly and fraudulently enrich themselves,” according to the indictment. Along with diverting funds for his own gain, Kermit is accused of filed false income tax documents from 2010-2013.
Washington, a former rep with the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), faces more than 40 years in prison if convicted of the four charges: corrupt interference with the internal revenue laws, conspiring to commit wire fraud, obstruction and aggravated identity theft. He also could be fined up to $1 million.