Actor Antwon Tanner, a regular on the popular teen drama "One Tree Hill," faces up to 10 years behind bars after pleading guilty in Brooklyn federal court Friday to illegally selling Social Security numbers for $10,000.
Tanner, 35, of California, was charged in April after he sold 16 numbers and three fake cards to undercover Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers running a sting operation in Brooklyn.
He told U.S. District Judge Carol Amon that he was a middleman, selling numbers that he had been provided by an unnamed third party, and that he knew it was illegal because the numbers would be used to fraudulently acquire goods.
Tanner, prosecutors revealed, is also under investigation in California, but they refused to identify the subject of that probe. Friday's plea does not cover that investigation.
Tanner's acting credits have included a high-profile role in "coach Carter," starring Samuel L. Jackson, and cameos on TV shows ranging from "NYPD Blue" to "CSI" and "Boston Public."
Although the maximum sentence for selling Social Security numbers is 10 years in and a $250,000 fine, his likely sentence under federal sentencing guidelines would be between 6 and 12 months, according to prosecutors. They said there was no evidence that the numbers were actually used to defraud anyone.
Tanner and his lawyer, Gregory Watts, had no comment on his motive for committing the crime despite a successful career, but said they would have more to say at his sentencing on Nov. 20.