Ralph Sampson indicted on perjury charge

Updated: January 18, 2006, 3:34 PM ET
Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. -- Former NBA player Ralph Sampson has been indicted on charges of lying about his finances to obtain court-appointed counsel in a federal child support case.

Sampson, 45, was indicted on one count each of perjury and making a false claim, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Tuesday. The charges are related to an affidavit Sampson submitted to obtain a court-appointed lawyer in a child support case.

The 7-foot-4 former Virginia All-American and top NBA draft choice is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 1 on charges he failed to pay $307,036 in child support to two daughters by different women. The children live in northern Virginia.

Under a plea agreement, Sampson would pay the tardy child support and be spared fines and a 30-month jail term. A judge must agree to the sentencing.

At an October hearing, Sampson's attorneys told a judge the Harrisonburg native had spent the summer trying to raise money to settle his debts. Prosecutors claimed he worked for an online communications firm; Sampson's attorney said it was on an unsalaried basis.

Court documents showed Sampson earned more than $500,000 in 1999, but less than $12,000 in 2001.

Sampson scored 7,039 points during his nine seasons in the NBA. He retired in 1992 after playing for Houston, Golden State, Sacramento and Washington.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press