Eighteen former players of the National Basketball Association (NBA) have been charged over an alleged health care scam involving the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.
Among the list of defendants are Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Ronald Glen Davis, and Anthony Allen. Allen's wife, Desiree, is also part of the list of defendants in the case.
It has been alleged that these former players tried to defraud the NBA out of almost $4 million in the alleged health care scam.
18 Former NBA Players Arrested
Eighteen former NBA players have been charged by the authorities over an alleged attempt to defraud the NBA out of almost $4 million.
According to a report by NPR, these former players "were charged Thursday with pocketing about $2.5 million illegally by defrauding the league's health and welfare benefit plan in a scam that authorities said involved claiming fictitious medical and dental expenses."
Per a report by NBC News, agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have arrested 15 of these players as of press time.
The following former NBA players have been charged in connection to the health care fraud scheme:
Ronald Glen "Big Baby" Davis
Charles Watson Jr.
Anthony Allen's wife has also been named a defendant in the case.
How Did the Alleged Health Care Scam Happen?
According to the report by NBC News, the 18 former NBA players were "charged with attempting to defraud the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of nearly $4 million."
The 18 former NBA players, plus Allen's wife, are facing counts of conspiracy to commit health care fraud as well as wire fraud. Per the NPR report, the defendants carried out their health care fraud scheme by "submitting fraudulent claims to get reimbursed for medical and dental procedures that never happened."
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a news conference that authorities had gathered travel records, emails, and even GPS data to support the charges they were filing against the defendants.
Authorities say that the health care fraud scheme took place from 2017 to 2020. During that time period, the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan received false claims that amounted to almost $4 million. Out of that amount, $2.5 million has allegedly been pocketed by the former players.
Citing Strauss, the NPR report states that "each defendant made false claims for reimbursements that ranged from $65,000 to $420,000."
Strauss likewise singled out Terrence Williams as the one who led the health care scam. Terrence Williams previously played for the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Boston Celtics.
Williams is accused of recruiting other former players to defraud the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan. Court papers alleged that "at least 10 of the ex-players paid kickbacks totaling about $230,000 to Williams."
The NBA Reacts
According to the NPR report, the NBA has said in a statement that it will cooperate with the U.S. Attorney's Office regarding the health care scam. The statement also says that the health care fraud scheme is "particularly disheartening."
The statement also explained that the benefit plans are "critically important to support players' health and well-being throughout their careers and post-retirement lives."
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Written by Isabella James