*Eighteen former NBA players have been charged with defrauding the league’s health and welfare benefit plan out of nearly $4 million.
According to the Seattle Times, the ex-athletes all were engaged in a widespread scheme to defraud the plan by submitting false and fraudulent claims. They did this to get reimbursed for medical and dental expenses that were never actually incurred. It was said that the scheme started in 2017 to 2020, when the plan received false claims totaling up to $3.9 million. Of that, the defendants received about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds, the news site notes.
According to 6ABC, the alleged ringleader is said to be Terrence Williams, who was drafted by the Nets back in 2009. The other former players indicted are reportedly Alan Anderson, Tony Allen, Desiree Allen, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Greg Smith, Charles Watson, Antoine Wright, and Tony Wroten, Sebastian Telfair, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, and Darius Miles.
“The defendants’ playbook involved fraud and deception,” U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss told a news conference after FBI agents across the country arrested 15 ex-players and one of their wives in a three-year conspiracy that authorities say started in 2017.
According to an indictment returned in Manhattan federal court, the ex-players teamed up to defraud the supplemental coverage plan by submitting fraudulent claims to get reimbursed for medical and dental procedures that never happened.
Strauss said prosecutors have travel records, email and GPS data that proves the ex-players were sometimes far from the medical and dental offices at the times when they were supposedly getting treated.
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