What there is to know
- 18 former NBA players indicted in Manhattan federal court over massive health insurance scheme alleged to defraud the league’s nearly $ 4 million benefit plan
- Federal prosecutors allege that former NBA player Terrence Williams “orchestrated” the program and recruited other players in the health care system by offering bogus bills; he would have received $ 230,000 in bribes
- All those charged face charges of Conspiracy to Commit Healthcare Fraud and Electronic Fraud as well as Aggravated Identity Theft
More than a dozen former NBA players have been indicted in a New York federal court in an alleged multi-million dollar health insurance fraud scheme to scam the league’s benefit plan, according to a indictment unsealed Thursday in the southern district.
The 18 former players named in the indictment include alleged ploy leader Terrence Williams, selected 11th in the 2009 NBA Draft by then-New Jersey Nets, Tony Allen, six times member of the NBA All-Defensive team, former Lakers goaltender Shannon Brown and Ronald. Glen Davis, who played for the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Clippers during his career.
Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen, is the only woman charged in the indictment.
Those charged face charges of conspiracy to commit healthcare and wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the grand jury indictment, the defendants are said to have embarked on a widespread program from at least 2017 until about 2020 to defraud the NBA player health and welfare benefit plan by submitting bogus claims for medical and dental services that were never actually rendered.
In some cases, the players who submitted the alleged false claims were not even in the United States when they allegedly received the treatments. They allegedly filed bogus invoices saying they had to pay for the shadow procedures out of pocket.
These allegedly fraudulent claims totaled approximately $ 3.9 million, of which the defendants obtained approximately $ 2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds, according to the indictment.
Williams is said to have orchestrated the multi-year program and recruited other NBA health plan participants to help them by offering them bogus bills to back up their claims. He allegedly received at least $ 230,000 in bribe payments from 10 other players in return for providing the alleged false documentation.
Williams, 34, is also said to have helped three co-defendants – Davis, Charles Watson Jr. and Antoine Wright – obtain bogus letters of medical necessity to justify some of the services the bogus bills were based on.
Williams is also alleged to have impersonated an individual who dealt with diet claims at some point in connection with his purported scheme.
Among the bogus claims described in the indictment is a claim for $ 19,000 that Williams filed for chiropractic services he would never have had and for which he was awarded 7,672.55 $ in reimbursement. Williams also allegedly got a template for a fake invoice designed to appear as if it had been issued by the office.
Fake chiropractic treatment bills were also reportedly created for Davis, Watson Jr. and Wright and emailed to Williams. The template included the date, invoice number, services, and a $ 15,000 charge, but left the “bill to” box, where the patient’s name would normally be, blank, according to the indictment.
Williams is accused of sending these fake invoices by email to the other defendants named in the indictment. He and defendant Alan Anderson, who briefly played for the Nets from 2013-2015, also allegedly helped obtain bogus letters of medical necessity for Davis, Watson Jr. and Wright as part of the fraud scheme.
According to court documents, several of the fake invoices and medical necessity forms stood out because, “they are not on letterhead, they contain unusual formatting, they contain grammatical errors” and were sent to the same dates from different offices.
Some of the players were asked to reimburse the money they received from the NBA health plan once the claims were determined to be false. Some did and some didn’t, according to court documents.
Also named in the indictment: Brooklyn-born Sebastian Telfair, who played for half a dozen NBA teams including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Clippers, Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves and Darius Miles, drafted third overall by the Clippers in the 2000 NBA Draft and a first -Team NBA All-Rookie player.
Prosecutors are looking for “all property, real or personal, that constitutes or derives, directly or indirectly” from the alleged restitution fraud. If any of these assets cannot be acquired for any reason, the US government declares that it will seek the confiscation of any other property of the defendants up to the same value.
Here are the 18 former NBA players indicted
Here are the former players indicted in the unsealed indictment on Thursday:
– Terrence Williams
– Alan Anderson
– Shannon Brown
– William Bynum
– Melvin Ely
– Tony writes
– Milt Palacio
– Sébastien Telfair
– Darius Miles
– Ruben Patterson
– Eddie Robinson
– Gregory Smith
– Glen Davis
– Jamario Moon