Stranaham basketball team

Charged with defrauding COVID-19 fund out of nearly $1 million, Terrence Williams out as Stranahan basketball coach


South Florida Sun Sentinel | by Wells Dusenbury | December 2, 2020

Less than a month after being arrested on charges of defrauding the federal COVID-19 relief fund out of nearly $1 million, championship-winning coach Terrence Williams is no longer leading the Stranahan basketball program.

Williams, who’s facing numerous counts of financial crimes, including bank fraud and money laundering, is out as the school’s boys basketball coach, Stranahan athletic director Thomas Harrison confirmed.

Williams, who won two state titles during his three seasons with the high school in Fort Lauderdale, is accused of applying for and receiving a $984,710 loan on behalf of his company, Williams Consulting Group LLC, from the federal Payment Protection Program. The initiative, part of a federal COVID-19 relief package, set aside billions of dollars in small-business loans for Americans hit hard by the pandemic.

According to federal authorities, Williams claimed his company employed 67 people and had an average monthly payroll of $393,884. Federal officials, however, said the company had no employees recorded with the state, as it’s required to do. Williams is accused of laundering most of the money from the loan through several different bank accounts.

Williams, 40, also is being charged with making false statements to a financial institution and engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds.

Released on bond, Williams is scheduled to make his next court appearance on Feb. 12. Per the bond agreement, Williams was forced to surrender his passport and cannot travel outside the area served by the Southern District of Florida, roughly from Fort Pierce south to Key West.

Williams’ attorney, Johnny McCray Jr., said he couldn’t comment on specifics of the case until he’s had the opportunity to review the evidence, adding he’s yet to receive discovery from prosecutors.

“Once I’ve had an opportunity to do those things, Mr. Williams and I will be in a better position to determine our intended course of action,” McCray said.

A Stranahan High alum, Williams spent the past three years as the coach at his alma mater, compiling an overall record of 71-22. In March, he led the program to its second consecutive state title, earning Sun Sentinel Coach of the Year honors for the second time. Williams also was named Florida Dairy Farmers Coach of the Year for Class 4A.

Williams coached in a volunteer capacity at Stranahan and was not a Broward County Public Schools employee. Williams also previously coached at William Dandy Middle School in Fort Lauderdale.

Stranahan has yet to announce Williams’ replacement, Harrison said. Broward County officially pushed back the start of the high school basketball season until Dec. 14 due to COVID-19. Teams will be allowed to begin playing regular season games on Jan. 4.

Photo: Stranahan makes history winning school’s first state boys basketball title. SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL