Former Hornet 'Tractor' Traylor gets three years of probation

DETROIT -- A federal judge sentenced Robert "Tractor" Traylor to three years of probation Friday after the former NBA player and Michigan star admitted to preparing a false tax return that hid the assets of a convicted drug dealer.

Traylor, 30, pleaded guilty in January to a charge of aiding and
assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. He could have been sentenced to up to 14 months in federal prison.

Traylor, whose NBA teams included New Orleans and who now plays professionally in Puerto Rico, will serve the first three months of his probation in a halfway house. He will be electronically monitored during the remaining 33 months. His sentence will be served in the offseason, the court said.

At Traylor's sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn also ordered him to submit within 90 days to the Internal Revenue Service any previously unfiled federal income tax returns. Cohn also ordered Traylor to make himself and any corroborating tax information regarding the 2004 tax year available to the IRS.

Traylor's name was used to make it appear that he purchased two
Detroit rental properties. The properties actually were owned by Quasand Lewis, a convicted drug trafficker and money launderer who is Traylor's cousin, according to federal prosecutors.

Traylor admitted in his plea that the properties were listed in his name to conceal Lewis' ownership from police. Traylor also admitted claiming a false loss of more than $205,000 from the properties on his 2004 federal income tax return.

Lewis was sentenced in December to 18 years in prison for his role in distributing more than 22,000 pounds of marijuana in the Detroit area.

Traylor was one of the former University of Michigan players whose ties to booster Ed Martin resulted in Traylor's disassociation from the school in 2003 and NCAA sanctions against its basketball program.

In 1998, Traylor was drafted in the first round, sixth overall, by the Dallas Mavericks. He played for Milwaukee, Charlotte, New Orleans and Cleveland from 1998-2005. Traylor signed with New Jersey as a free agent before the 2005-06 season but failed a physical and never played for the Nets.