Authorities charged 18 former NBA players with health care fraud

Authorities charged 18 former NBA players with health care fraud

  • A New York grand jury indicted 18 former NBA players for defrauding the NBA players’ health and welfare benefit plan.
  • According to the indictment former NBA journeyman Terrence Williams is accused of leading the plan.
  • The players are accused of charging nearly $4 million in fraudulent medical claims to the benefit plan.

Authorities issued a grand jury indictment against 18 former NBA players for defrauding the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan, according to court filings.

The group of players include former Memphis Grizzlies’ defensive star Tony Allen, Sebastian Telfair, and former Celtics center Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis — the only non-player and woman charged in the indictment is Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen.

According to the Associated Press, 16 of the defendants are already in custody.

NBC reports that Terrence Williams, a former NBA journeyman who last played for the Boston Celtics in 2013, is accused of being the ring leader. 

According to the indictment, the players submitted nearly $4 million in fraudulent claims between 2017 and 2020 for dental and medical treatments that never occurred. In exchange, the players are accused of receiving up to $2.5 million in proceeds.

Former NFL players Clinton Portis, Tamarick Vanover and Robert McCune recently pleaded guilty to a similar scheme. McCune was accused of leading that group and is facing the possibility of life in prison. That case involved $2.9 million in fraudulent claims against the NFL program designed to reimburse former players for expenses not covered by insurance.

The indictment against the former NBA players accuses Williams of sending fraudulent invoices to several unnamed NBA players, making at least $230,000 in kickback payments from the invoices alone. 

This story is developing.

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