J.D. and Caryl Hill sentenced to five years probation

Updated: July 14, 2005, 11:08 PM ET
Associated Press

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Former NFL wide receiver J.D. Hill and his wife have been sentenced to five years probation for bilking the Social Security Administration out of more than $65,000.

Hill, 55, and his wife Caryl, had pleaded guilty in November to bank fraud and conspiracy. Prosecutors said Hill collected Social Security disability payments while continuing to earn a "significant income'' from a job.

Caryl Hill cashed the checks knowing that she had her husband were not entitled to the money, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pratt ordered the couple Wednesday to repay the $65,326 they collected. Pratt said he was giving Hill a chance to restore his reputation.

The government said the fraud occurred while the Hills were living in Iowa City from 1995 to 2000. They now live in Chandler, Ariz.

"All my life I wanted to be a role model to help kids,'' J.D. Hill told the judge. "I could not have predicted what I've been through. I apologize.''

After playing at Arizona State, Hill spent five seasons with the Buffalo Bills and two with the Detroit Lions, catching 185 passes for 2,880 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was chosen for the Pro Bowl in 1972, when he finished with a career-best 52 receptions.

The Hills' sons, Kahlil and Hakim, starred in football at Iowa City High. Kahlil Hill played wide receiver at Iowa, while Hakim was a running back at Arizona State.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press