18 former NBA players have been charged in a fraud scheme
NBA has got dirt on its hands now as eighteen former NBA players have been accused and charged of fraud in the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit plan. The federal prosecutors announced on Thursday that the aforementioned liability is worth $4 million.
The allegations came to light due red flags like their grammatical errors and suspicious paperwork. While the former players were caught, they are facing conspiracy to commit wire and health care fraud.
A former New Jersey Nets player Terrence Williams was allegedly the one who plotted the whole scheme. According to the charge, he is the one who orchestrated and even recruited other former players. They submitted false claims for medical and dental reimbursements that were never used.
More former players:
– Terrence Williams
– Alan Anderson
– Tony Allen
– Shannon Brown
– William Bynum
– Melvin Ely
– Christopher Douglas-Roberts
– Tony Wroten
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) October 7, 2021
While the scheme goes on from 2017-2020, the fraud charge cites that Williams received more than $230,000 worth of kickbacks for the fake checks. The other 10 players he recruited paid him the said amount in exchange for giving them the paperwork.
The other plan administrators also received their claims worth $3.9 million. While the other players allegedly received about $2.5 million worth of funds.
Williams, who seems to be the mastermind, joined the Nets 11th overall in 2009. The Washington state police arrested him. While the other 15 defendants are currently in police custody.
The U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss said, “the defendants’ playbook involved fraud and deception. Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, their alleged scheme has been disrupted and they will have to answer for their flagrant violations of law.”
Per story of 18 NBA players arrested, also know leagues, esp NFL, deny health care to ex-players at far > 4 million. NFL gutted benefits to 400+ ex-players in new corrupt CBA. If we’re going to have health-fraud discussion, let’s include NFL owners who never get arrested. https://t.co/KpxtCi8W9u
— ChuckModi (@ChuckModi1) October 7, 2021
The officials discovered the scheme through the differences in the paperwork. According to the prosecutors, on December 20, 2018, Gregory Smith submitted claims for root crowns and canals in Beverly Hills. It’s the same day he was playing for Taiwan’s Super Basketball League. It’s a suspicious act to fraud.
Strauss said, “Travel records, e-mail and publicly available box scores showed that he was playing professional basketball in Taiwan that week and did not receive root canals in Beverly Hills as represented in the claim form he submitted.”
While a total of 19 people were in the fraud scheme list, this includes Glen “Big Baby” Davis. He won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008. Anthony Allen, who’s alongside Davis with the Celtics, was also facing charges. Desiree Allen, his wife, was the only one left that wasn’t a non-player.
Together with Anthony Wroten, Davis, and Allen all submitted claims for root canals on the same teeth on April 30, 2016. Also, additional claims are same with the crowns on the same tech on May 11. 2016. Wroten and Allen filed paperwork again on root canals for the same 13 teeth on September 6, 2018.
The other players charged were Sebastian Telfair, Darius Miles. NBA drafted both of them straight out from high school. The other well-known players included Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Antoine Wright, and Jamario Moon.
Once convicted, every defendant could endure 20 years in prison. Williams might face an additional 15 years for the identity theft charge due to fraud.
While on the NFL side of the news, three former NFL players including Clinton Portis pleaded guilty to their roles in a health care fraud.