Tyrone Gilliams: Ivy League Scam Artist

Charged by the feds with running a Ponzi scheme, this former Philly success story's web of deceit is just starting to unravel.

Tyrone Gilliams hasn’t been seen much around Philadelphia since his arrest in October. He did, however, agree to a radio interview on 100.3 WRNB with his friend MoShay LaRen on November 7, 2011. The subject: the season premiere the night before of The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and any insight Tyrone could offer about a fight between Nene and Sheree.

Gilliams had been watching the Steelers/Ravens game when friends started texting him that those Real Housewives were fighting over him and the money Sheree was paid to appear at Joy Fest. On LaRen’s program, Gilliams took the side of Sheree, saying of Nene (who pitched a fit over not being the first one asked to make an appearance), “It’s unfortunate people get caught up with themselves. It was never about her. Nene thought the whole Joy to the World Fest was about her, too. But … it’s not about you, it’s not about me, we’re doing good, we’re giving back, we’re putting God first.”

Gilliams went on to explain that the issue with the two housewives “is deeper than that … sometimes females when they don’t have their way and can’t get what they want, they try to spin it—”

MoShay interrupted: “Okay, let’s talk about Nene not getting her way with you.”
Gilliams demurred. He said Nene wasn’t even his type. “My type is the type of person like you, who does work and looks to give back to the community and is not about the glitz and the glamour.”

He segued into a plug for the second annual Joy to the World Fest, which he apparently believed was still going to happen. He talked about how the event would be held this year at the Loews—neglecting to mention that the hotel cancelled his contract after his indictment. He urged people to check out his website, which had a whole schedule of events, including a testimonial dinner for Sonny Hill, in whose summer league Gilliams had played. Unfortunately, no one had mentioned the dinner to Sonny Hill.

“We’re truly thankful and blessed about where we are and where we’re going,” Gilliams said. But before the interview ended, he circled back to Nene and Sheree’s fight. “It’s unfortunate,” he said, “that sisters are battling over something minute. I mean, you should empower each other. … It’s about lifting each other up, not about bringing each other down.” To him, he said, wanting to “take somebody else’s money isn’t really good.”