Authorities have indicted eighteen former NBA players on charges of defrauding the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.
According to court records, the list of players includes former Memphis Grizzlies defensive star Tony Allen, former Celtics big Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, and league journeyman Sebastian Telfair. Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen, is the sole non-player charged in the indictment.
Terrence Williams, a former Boston Celtics player, is accused of being the ringleader, according to NBC. The indictment says Williams generated at least $230,000 in kickback payments from false invoices issued to multiple unnamed NBA players.
According to the Associated Press, sixteen of the defendants have already been detained.
The indictment alleges that between 2017 and 2020, the athletes submitted roughly $4 million in fraudulent claims for dental and medical treatments that never occurred. The players may have gotten up to $2.5 million in exchange.
The indictment alleges that the players’ claims were occasionally odd or strange. It asserts that numerous procedures and services claimed to have been received by defendants from chiropractors and dentists were the same or comparable. They allegedly submitted claims that they received the same dental treatments on the same teeth on the same days.
The administrative manager of the Health and Welfare Benefit Plan requested letters of medical necessity from a chiropractor Glen Davis, Charles Watson Jr., and Antoine Wright claimed to have seen. The letters submitted by the players lacked letterheads and contained grammatical errors. According to the accusation, one letter misspelled a patient’s name.
Davis allegedly reported dental charges totaling $27,000 from a Beverly Hills dentist on October 2, 2018. However, flight records indicated that Davis traveled that day from Las Vegas, Nevada, to Paris, France, and mobile phone location data indicated Davis was in Utah and Nevada on October 2.
Clinton Portis, Tamarick Vanover, and Robert McCune, all former NFL players, recently pleaded guilty to a similar conspiracy. This lawsuit featured $2.9 million in fraudulent claims against an NFL program designed to reimburse retired players for uninsured expenditures. McCune is charged with being the leader of the group and faces the potential of life in jail.