On Thursday, eighteen former NBA players were charged with stealing the league’s health and welfare benefit plan of $3.9 million by claiming reimbursement for medical and dental treatment that was never performed.
Players collected $2.5 million in illegal gains, according to an indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, with 10 paying at least $230,000 in kickbacks to the alleged mastermind, Terrence Williams.
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
Prosecutors claim Williams provided phoney invoices in return for the bribes and assisted three players in obtaining bogus “letters of medical necessity.”
Tony Allen, a six-time NBA All-Defensive Team member, and Glen Davis, both of whom won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, are among the accused.
Sebastian Telfair, a former Brooklyn high school basketball standout, and Milt Palacio, now an assistant coach with the Portland Trail Blazers, are among the other accused.
From 2009 to 2013, Williams was a member of the New Jersey Nets and three other teams.
The defendants’ lawyer could not be recognised right away.
Palacio, who joined the Trail Blazers’ coaching staff in early August, has been placed on administrative leave until further notice, according to the organisation.
“The federal investigation is independent of the Trail Blazers organization and we will have no further comment pending the outcome of the legal process,” the team said in a statement.
In a statement, the NBA said it will cooperate with prosecutors, calling the accusations “particularly disheartening” given the importance of its benefit plans to support players’ health, including after they retire.
The alleged scheme involved two dental offices and a chiropractic office in the Los Angeles area, and a wellness office in Washington state.
Prosecutors said some invoices showed Allen, Davis and the defendant Tony Wroten receiving crowns on the same six teeth on the same day, and Davis receiving crowns on eight teeth in Beverly Hills when he was actually in Nevada.
Williams was also charged with identity theft for impersonating a plan manager to “frighten” Chris Douglas-Roberts, a defendant who had not paid a kickback, into re-engaging with him.
Alan Anderson, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Greg Smith, C.J. Watson, and Antoine Wright are some of the other accused. Desiree, Allen’s wife, is also a defendant.