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Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Ralph Sampson indicted on perjury charge

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.