18 former NBA players charged in $4 million insurance fraud scheme
Eighteen former National Basketball Association players have been charged with conspiracy to defraud an NBA health care plan for nearly $4 million, federal officials said Thursday.
According to a federal indictment in Manhattan, the scheme lasted from at least 2017 to the previous year and involved submitting fraudulent claims to reimburse medical and dental services that were not actually provided.
For the most part, 18 former players charged with the scheme played in the NBA in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Two of the most notable are Ronald Glenn Davis, nicknamed “Big Baby”, and Tony Allen, who both played on the Boston Celtics team that won the NBA championship in 2008.
Mr Allen, now 39, was one of the league’s best defensive players during his career and is determined to his number is retired by the Memphis Grizzlies, where he played seven seasons the following year.
Others charged included promising prospects whose careers did not reach the expected heights, including Darius Miles and Sebastian Telfair, both of whom dropped out of high school.
The indictment states that one of the former players, Terrence Williams, who played for the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets, had planned the scheme and falsely invoiced other former players to support their fraud claims. was recruited by offering to supply. The indictment alleges that Mr Williams also received $230,000 in kickbacks to the scheme.
According to the indictment, the conspirators submitted claims totaling $3.9 million, and they ultimately received approximately $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss for the Southern District of New York and the head of the FBI’s New York office, Michael J. The allegations were announced in New York on Thursday at a news conference hosted by Driscoll.
Ms Strauss said the investigation was ongoing.
Several players in charge played at least part of their careers for New York area teams, including Shannon Brown with the Knicks and Mrs Williams, Antoine Wright and Chris Douglas-Roberts with the Nets.
Others achieved fleeting examples of fame, such as Milton Palacio, who hit a memorable buzzer beater against the Nets in 2000, and Ruben Patterson, who was said – perhaps apocryphally – to have called himself a “Kobe stomper”, his slow pace. for capacity. Los Angeles Lakers knocked down superstar Kobe Bryant.
Mr. Telfair, a cousin of former NBA star Stephen Marbury, graced magazine covers in the early 2000s as one of the best high school players in the country when he played at Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. But he faced legal troubles related to weapons during his professional career, which included early stints with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Celtics.
In 2008, Mr. Telfair pleaded guilty to illegal handgun possession and was sentenced to three years’ probation. In 2019, he was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for possession of a gun, this time stemming from an arrest two years earlier, when he was found with four loaded guns and a bulletproof vest.
Sopan Deb Contributed to reporting.
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