53ºF

Prosecutors: Florida high school coach lied to get $1M in virus relief

Stranahan boys basketball coach Terrence Williams.
Stranahan boys basketball coach Terrence Williams. (Courtesy of Sun Sentinel)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A south Florida high school basketball coach fraudulently obtained nearly $1 million in coronavirus relief funds for his consulting company, federal prosecutors said.

Terrence Williams, 40, of Tamarac, made his initial appearance Friday in Fort Lauderdale federal court. He's charged with bank fraud, money laundering, engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds and making false statements to a financial institution.

Williams, the head varsity basketball coach at Stranahan High School in Fort Lauderdale, applied for and received a $984,710 loan on behalf of his company, Williams Consulting Group LLC, according to a criminal complaint. He claimed the company had 67 employees and an average monthly payroll of $393,884, which investigators said was untrue. Instead of using the money for payroll, prosecutors said Williams transferred the money to other accounts.

Online court records didn't list a defense attorney who could comment on the case against Williams.

The Paycheck Protection Program represents billions of dollars in forgivable small business loans for Americans struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s part of the coronavirus relief package that became federal law in March.