Seth Williams Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

That's the maximum punishment the disgraced former Philly DA faced for accepting bribes.

seth williams

Seth Williams at a February 10, 2017, press conference. Photo by Matt Rourke/AP

Philly’s embattled former district attorney Seth Williams has been sentenced to five years in prison.

Williams, who was indicted in May, pleaded guilty during his federal trial in June to one count related to accepting bribes from a businessman in exchange for official favors. His sentencing reflects the maximum punishment for the crime.

According to court documents, Williams accepted a range of gifts from a businessman, identified as Mohammad N. Ali — including $9,000 in checks, a nearly $5,000 all-inclusive vacation to Punta Cana, a custom sofa and more — in exchange for favors like shortening a prison sentence for a friend of Ali’s and attempting to arrange for Ali to bypass security screenings at the Philadelphia International Airport.

Williams has spent 23 hours a day in an isolated cell at the Philadelphia Federal Detention Center since his guilty plea and resignation in June. Last week, he petitioned a judge to allow him to visit his ailing adoptive mother – the same woman Williams has admitted he tried to defraud by using funds intended to cover her nursing home care on personal expenses.

During Williams’s sentencing on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Paul S. Diamond criticized that request, stating that Williams “dumped” his mother “like a sack of potatoes” so he could be “a high-roller at various restaurants in town,” according to

“The English language doesn’t have the words to capture the outrageousness of that request,” Diamond reportedly added. “The defendant stole from his mother, and now he wants to visit her?”

Last week, Williams was formally disbarred by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

The former Philly DA has also been ordered to pay almost $100,000 in forfeiture and restitution. As part of the June plea deal, 28 other counts against him have been dismissed.

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