Former UK star Morris indicted for not reporting China income

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A former University of Kentucky basketball star and who also starred playing professional ball in China, including earning MVP in the Chinese Basketball Association finals in 2014, has been indicted for not reporting much of his income from China.

Randolph Morris was indicted Wednesday on federal charges of wire fraud and making false statements on his federal tax returns.

As alleged in the indictment, from 2010 to 2017, Morris, a former ALL-SEC performer at UK, failed to report more than $13 million he earned while working as a professional basketball player in the Chinese Basketball Association, federal prosecutors said in a statement.

The 35-year-old Morris was at Kentucky from 2004 to 2007 and played briefly in the NBA until 2010 before going to China.

Morris was a star for the Beijing Ducks between 2010 and 2018. He won league titles in 2012, 2014 and 2015.

A federal grand jury sitting in Lexington returned an 11-count indictment. The wire fraud counts allege that Morris submitted false income information to the Kentucky Department of Revenue, for the 2015, 2016 and 2017 tax years, when he played for the Beijing Ducks.

The alleged failure to report any of his earnings from his Chinese team during those years deprived the state of Kentucky of more than $400,000 in tax revenue.

The remaining eight counts allege Morris failed to report his earnings from the Beijing Ducks on his federal 1040 and 1040A forms, for the years 2010 through 2017.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky, and Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Cincinnati Field Office, jointly announced the indictment.

A date for Morris to appear in federal court has not yet been scheduled.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on each wire fraud count.  For the counts of making false statements on tax returns, he faces a maximum prison sentence of three years.

However, any sentence following a conviction would be imposed by the Court, after its consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal sentencing statutes.

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