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Credit: Zach Sheldon

Former Penn basketball player Tyrone Gilliams, who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for wire fraud schemes in Oct. 2013, was denied early release by a federal judge this week. The latest ruling by United States District Judge Deborah A. Batts means Gilliams, 51, will remain in prison until 2022.

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After transferring from Rider University to Penn at the end of the 1985-86 season, Gilliams was forced to sit a year out due to NCAA regulations before he could play for the Quakers. His stint at Penn lasted from 1987 to 1990, during which Gilliams led the team in free-throw percentage in the 1988-89 season. He also served as co-captain of the team during the 1989-90 season. 

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After leaving Penn, Gilliams became a skilled commodities trader, known for promoting people within the hip-hop community. Through his scheme, Gilliams promised investors in Florida and Ohio high returns of up to 5 percent per week, but the money was instead put into a gold venture, home renovations, and a warehouse in Denver, as well as a comedy show.  

According to Radar Online, Gilliams filed a motion for reconsideration in January 2018. According to documents obtained by Radar Online, he claimed he was not a “leader” in the scheme, alleging the government “improperly withheld” evidence, and accusing his counsel of being “ineffective.”

This motion was denied on March 20, meaning Gilliams will not be granted release until Nov. 14, 2022. 

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The most recent attempt for early release does not mark the first time Gilliams has tried to reduce his sentence. In January 2014, he filed a writ of coram nobis that maintained his innocence in the events, a petition that would revoke the jury’s sentence partially or fully. The writ was dismissed later that year by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York.