Eighteen former NBA players and one other individual have been placed under arrest on charges of defrauding the NBA’s health and welfare benefit plan out of approximately $4 million. In a bit of news first reported by Tom Winter of NBC News and Jonathan Dienst of WNBC, the charges were filed in federal court in New York.
The list of players is comprised of Alan Anderson, Tony Allen, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Greg Smith, Sebastian Telfair, CJ Watson, Terrence Williams, Antoine Wright, and Tony Wroten. The final individual is Allen’s wife, Desiree.
The crux of the allegations stem from the fact that the players mentioned submitted fraudulent claims for medical and dental expenses. From there, the players were allegedly reimbursed despite never actually incurring any expenses. According to NBC New York, Williams — the No. 11 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft by the New Jersey Nets whose NBA career also had pit stops in Houston, Sacramento, and Boston — was the alleged ringleader of the operation.
Williams allegedly orchestrated the years-long scheme and recruited other NBA health plan participants to assist by offering them fake invoices to support their allegedly false health plan claims. He is accused of receiving kickback payments totaling at least $230,000 in return for providing the alleged false documentation.
The scheme allegedly ran from as early as 2017 to 2020.