Ex-Celtic Kermit Washington pleads guilty in fraud case

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Former NBA player Kermit Washington has pleaded guilty to charges accusing him of spending thousands of dollars in donations to a charity for his personal use.

Washington, who played for several NBA teams in the 1970s and 1980s, was scheduled for trial Monday in federal court in Kansas City, Missouri. Instead, he pleaded guilty Friday to two counts of making a false statement in a tax return and one count of aggravated identity theft.

Washington was best known for throwing a punch that seriously injured Houston Rockets player Rudy Tomjanovich during a 1977 game.

Prosecutors say Washington, of Las Vegas, referred professional athletes to a California attorney, who filed workers’ compensation claims for them and then made donations to Washington’s charity. Washington used about $155,000 from the charity for personal expenses.

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