October 24, 2021

18 Ex-NBA players arrested in $4M healthcare scam

FILE – Philadelphia 76ers’ Tony Wroten in action during an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Philadelphia. Eighteen former NBA players, including Wroten, have been arrested on charges alleging they defrauded the league’s health and welfare benefit plan out of about $4 million, according to an indictment Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

18 former NBA players have been arrested and charged for a health care scheme where they allegedly received millions of dollar.

The 18 players are accused of allegedly defrauding the league’s health plan out of nearly $4 million. Of those that have been charged, they face a count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud.

The former players include Shannon Brown, Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Ronald Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright, Anthony Wroten, Anthony Allen, and his wife Desiree Allen.

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said, “The defendants’ playbook involved fraud and deception. They will have to answer for their flagrant violations of law.”

Federal prosecutors out of New York said Terrence Williams, who played in the NBA for four years, submitted false claims to the NBA’s heath care plan. It’s alleged that he would submit false invoices that mirrored false claims in order to receive kickback payments that totaled to at least $230,000.

The former players allegedly submitted at least $3.9 million in fake claims and $2.5 million was paid out.

Strauss claims Gregory Smith submitted claims for IV sedation, a root canal and crowns on Decmber 20, 2018. However, records show he was playing basketball overseas at the time. “Travel records, e-mail and publicly available box scores showed that he was playing professional basketball in Taiwan that week,” said Strauss. “And did not receive root canals in Beverly Hills as represented in the claim form he submitted.”

Authorities say the health care scheme was ultimately revealed due to “the sloppy work of the defendants.”

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