This week, it was announced that a former professional basketball player and representative of the National Basketball Players Association had pleaded guilty to charges relating to a charity fraud scheme. 66-year-old Kermit Alan Washington of Las Vegas, Nevada pleaded guilty to two counts of making a false statement in a tax return and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Co-defendant 65-year-old Patricia Harris pleaded guilty to making false declarations before a grand jury. Harris and Washington are among eleven defendants that pleaded guilty in several cases related to investigations of an international software piracy conspiracy and charity fraud scheme. Washington referred professional athletes to attorney Ronald Jack Mix of San Diego, California.
Mix filed workers’ compensation claims on behalf of the athletes in the state of California. Mix agreed to make donations to Washington’s charity, The Sixth Man Foundation, which was doing business as Project Contact Africa. In total, Washington accepted roughly $155,000 in donations to his charity, which were illegal referral payments from Mix and his law firm.
In return, Washington diverted the funds to himself for personal use. Washington also admitted to failing to account for this income on Project Contact Africa’s IRS filing during those years. Mix pleaded guilty to filing a false tax return in a separate case on May 23, 2016. Mix confessed to making donations ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for referrals of athletes.
Mix claimed the payments as charitable donations on his income tax returns from 2010 to 2013. Again, Kermit Washington pleaded guilty to two counts of making a false statement in a tax return and one count of aggravated identity theft. Additional details can be found here.