Friday, April 17, 2009
One Tree Hill's Skills Pleads Innocent in Fake ID Scam
It looks like some mad skillz have landed Skills in big trouble.
Antwon Tanner, One Tree Hill's Antwon "Skills" Taylor, has pleaded not guilty in a New York federal court to participating in a Social Security scam, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office confirms.
The 34-year-old actor, whose credits include Coach Carter with Samuel L. Jackson and that catchy "Da Da Da" Volkswagen commercial, was busted in a sting operation and charged with selling 16 Social Security numbers and three counterfeit cards to a middleman between December 2005 and last July.
Tanner surrendered yesterday and entered his plea in Brooklyn Federal Court. He was released after posting $250,000 bail.
If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.
The California native allegedly supplied the phony digits and cards to an unidentified contact who in turn sold them to an undercover agent with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).
According to a two-count indictment, Tanner used made-up Social Security numbers as well as those swiped from the living and the dead, and he passed them along without ever having a face-to-face meeting with the dealer. All the cards were allegedly sent through the mail.
The feds say Tanner banked thousands of dollars over a two-and-a-half-year period.
Neither Tanner nor his lawyer answered reporters' questions upon leaving yesterday's hearing, and the CW has declined to address his arrest or future on One Tree Hill.