Judge orders Webber to pay $100,000

Updated: August 31, 2005, 6:09 PM ET
Associated Press

DETROIT -- Philadelphia 76ers player and former Michigan star Chris Webber was ordered to pay a $100,000 fine Wednesday, nearly two years after he pleaded guilty to a federal criminal contempt charge in the University of Michigan booster scandal.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Edmunds fined Webber the maximum allowed after she ruled that Webber's conviction should be treated as a misdemeanor rather than a felony, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

The judge also noted Webber's completion of 330 hours of community service and out-of-pocket expenses of more than $78,000.

In September 2003, Edmunds ordered Webber to perform 300 hours of the community service over the next two summers as a condition of his bond, saying she would decide whether to treat the crime as a felony or a misdemeanor in two years.

Messages were left late Wednesday afternoon for Webber's attorney, Steven Fishman, and the U.S. Attorney's office in Detroit.

Webber pleaded guilty to the criminal contempt charge in July 2003, a day before jury selection was scheduled to start for his trial on a perjury charge.

Webber and his father, Mayce Webber Jr., were accused of lying about money authorities say the player received from ex-booster Ed Martin. The maximum penalty would have been five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

A day after Webber's plea, the charges against his father were dropped for "weak or inadmissible sufficient evidence," according to a court order.

In his plea, Webber admitted lying to the grand jury on Aug. 2, 2000, in saying he did not recall giving money to Martin. Webber acknowledged in the plea that in 1994 he gave Martin about $38,000 in cash as partial repayment for expenditures Martin made on his behalf.

Martin, who died in February 2003 at age 69, pleaded guilty in 2002 to conspiracy to launder money and told federal prosecutors he took gambling money, combined it with other funds and lent $616,000 to Webber and three other Michigan players.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press