SEATTLE - A former NBA player from Seattle is accused of orchestrating a scheme involving 18 former players to defraud the NBA Players' Health and Welfare Benefit Plan ("Plan") of nearly $4 million.
The Department of Justice claims that Terrence Williams (born in Seattle, played for the likes of the then-New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Boston Celtics), recruited other "Plan" participants to defraud the program by providing them with fake invoices to support fraudulent claims filed.
Williams provided the other charged individuals with fake invoices from a particular Chiropractic Office in California, which were created by individuals working with Williams, according to the DOJ. In addition, Williams obtained fraudulent invoices from a dentist affiliated with dental offices in Beverly Hills, and from a doctor at a wellness office in Washington state.
He allegedly 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 fraudulent invoices purported to document that the 18 former players, in some cases, members of their families, had been recipients of expensive medical and dental services. However, the ex-players had not received the medical or dental services described in the invoices that were provided to them, the DOJ alleges.
The 18 players were among 19 individuals charged in the indictment. It said that the scheme was carried out from at least 2017 to 2020, when the plan received false claims totaling about $3.9 million. Of that, the defendants received about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.
The players charged in the scheme were:
- Alan Anderson
- Desiree Allen
- Anthony Allen
- Shannon Brown
- William Bynum
- Ronald Glen Davis
- Christopher Douglas-Roberts
- Melvin Ely
- Jamario Moon
- Darius Miles
- Milton Palacio
- Ruben Patterson
- Sebastian Telfair
- Charles Watson Jr.
- Antoine Wright
- Gregor Smith
- Anthony Wroten (played for University of Washington and then later the Philadelphia 76ers)
At least 10 of the ex-players paid kickbacks totaling about $230,000 to Williams, according to the court papers.
Williams and Wroten will go before a judge in Washington state.
All are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years.
Williams has also been charged with one count of aggravated identity theft, which is a minimum mandatory two-year sentence in prison.
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