Eighteen former NBA players have been charged in New York federal court for an alleged multi-million-dollar health insurance fraud scheme that aimed to rip off the league’s health and wellness benefit plan for retired players, according to an indictment unsealed in the Southern District on Thursday.
The players named in the indictment allegedly engaged together in a widespread scheme aimed at defrauding the league’s plan by submitting false insurance claims in order to get reimbursed for medical or dental services that were never actually rendered. The scheme was executed from at least 2017 to 2020, and totaled approximately $4 million in false claims. Out of that money, the defendants received about $2.5 million in reimbursements. The NBA released the following statement Thursday:
“The benefit plans provided by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to our players are critically important to support their health and well-being throughout their playing careers and over the course of their lives which makes these allegations particularly disheartening. We will cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this matter.”
Terrence Williams, who was selected 11th overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Nets, is the alleged ringleader of the fraud scheme. Williams is said to have orchestrated the plan and recruited other participants to join by offering fake invoices to support their false insurance claims. Williams also allegedly helped others obtain fake letters of medical necessity and impersonated a plan claim processor. He reportedly received at least $230,000 in kickback payments from 10 other players for his services.
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In addition to Williams, former NBA champions Tony Allen, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Shannon Brown and Melvin Ely were also among those indicted. The players charged face a count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, along with aggravated identity theft. You can see the complete list of former players who were charged below:
Milt Palacio Sebastian Telfair Antoine WrightCharles WatsonDarius MilesRuben PattersonEddie RobinsonGregory SmithGlen DavisJamario Moon Terrence WilliamsAlan AndersonTony AllenShannon BrownWilliam BynumMelvin ElyChristopher Douglas-RobertsTony Wroten
In addition to the 18 former NBA players, Tony Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen, was also charged.