IFWT_Kermit Washington

Former NBA All-Star Kermit Washington faces 45 years in prison for allegedly running a scheme where he stole hundreds of thousands of dollars that was supposed to help needy people in Africa, according to officials.

According to TMZ Sports, the 64-year-old was arrested at an L.A. supermarket on Tuesday for running a scheme to steal from an African charity he started to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Officials say Washington would induce people, including several former pro athletes, to donate to Project Contact Africa, telling them 100% of the money would benefit a clinic in Africa for needy families.

Instead, the Dept. of Justice says he stole “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to pay for everything from rent to vacations, jewelry and entertainment.

He’s been charged with several crimes including corrupt interference with tax laws, conspiring to commit wire fraud, obstruction and aggravated ID theft.

If convicted on all charges, Washington is faces more than 40 years in prison, though it’s more likely he’d strike a plea deal and serve significantly less time (if any at all).  He also could be fined up to $1 million.

Washington has been released on bond but had to surrender his passport and wear a GPS device so authorities can keep track of him.

Washington’s NBA career spanned more than a decade, although he’s best known for punching Rudy Tomjanovich in an on-court altercation in 1977.

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