Federal prosecutors announced an enormous fraud case Thursday morning, which included the arrest of 18 former NBA players.
The final days before the NBA season finally starts are usually filled with injury updates, glowing assessments of preseason games and optimistic goals for the upcoming season. Oh, and accusations of massive, collaborative insurance fraud.
On Thursday, NBC News announced that federal prosecutors had arrested 18 former NBA players for their roles in a scheme that defrauded the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan for millions of dollars over the past few years.
Which NBA players were charged with defrauding the NBA’s benefit plan?
Among those charged were Tony Allen, Glen Davis, Darius Miles, Ruben Patterson, Sebastian Telfair and Shannon Brown. According to federal prosecutors and reporting from ESPN, the ring-leader was former Nets’ wing Terrence Williams.
According to the indictment, the scheme developed after Terrence Williams, who began his career as a first-round pick in 2009, submitted $19,000 in fraudulent claims to the plan in November 2017 for chiropractic care. The claims led to a $7,672 payout for Williams.
The indictment said he then recruited other former NBA players to defraud the plan and offered to provide fraudulent invoices from a chiropractor and dentist in Southern California and a wellness office in Washington state.
At least 10 of the former players paid kickbacks totaling about $230,000 to Williams, according to the court papers.
At a press conference discussing the charges, Audrey Strauss included an example of the scheme including the fact that, “Tony Allen, Tony Wroten and Glen Davis all reported that they had root canals on the same teeth on the same day.”
As of this writing, 16 of the 18 players charged are currently in federal custody and we’re likely to hear a lot more specific about the plan and the legal ramifications for the players over the next few days.