High school coach fraudulently took nearly $1 million in coronavirus aid loans, feds say

Federal agents say state championship-winning Stranahan High basketball coach Terrence Williams illegally obtained $984,710 from a Paycheck Protection Program.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A state championship-winning high school basketball coach in South Florida was arrested and charged with fraudulently obtaining nearly $1 million intended for people struggling during the coronavirus pandemic, federal officials say.

Terrence Williams, 40 of Tamarac, led Stranahan High in Fort Lauderdale to boys basketball state titles the past two years.

Federal agents say he illegally obtained $984,710 from a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, using the money for personal expenses and even to make a car payment.

Williams is charged in the Southern District of Florida with one count of bank fraud, one count of money laundering, one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds, and one count of making false statements to a financial institution.

The PPP is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a federal law put in place in late March to provide financial aid to Americans suffering during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The criminal complaint alleges Williams applied for the loan on behalf of Williams Consulting Group LLC, a company he owned.

“The complaint alleges that although Williams claimed the company had 67 employees and an average monthly payroll of $393,884.00, the company in fact paid no such payroll and did not have any recorded employees with the State of Florida,” a release from the office of United States Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan says. “The complaint alleges that after receiving the loan proceeds, instead of using the money for an approved purpose, Williams laundered the vast majority by transferring the proceeds to several accounts he controlled at a different financial institution. The complaint also alleges that Williams received into his company’s bank account Florida Unemployment Insurance benefits.”

State records show a limited liability company that matches Williams' known address. According to Sunbiz records online, Williams Consulting, LLC., was reinstated in October of 2019. The name of the registered agent was changed this past September.

Local 10 News went to Williams’ listed address in Tamarac on Friday afternoon. A woman inside did not want to speak.

Broward County Public Schools says Williams coached Stranahan on a volunteer basis. He also previously earned a supplement to serve as a basketball coach at William Dandy Middle School, district officials said.

Williams was named a 2020 Coach of the Year by the Florida Association of Basketball Coaches.

He’ll face a judge later this month.

About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.