Updated: Aug 6
On Thursday, October 7, 2021, an indictment listed 18 ex-NBA players charged in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) for an alleged $4 million health care fraud scheme.
Allegedly led by Terrence Williams, picked 11th by the Nets in the 2009 draft, this scheme was a way to defraud a supplemental health plan for active and retired players, roping in several others to submit false claims for “reimbursement of expenses for medical and dental services that were not actually rendered.” One of the false reimbursements claims that was described in the indictment is a $19,000 claim filed by Williams for chiropractic services that never happened and gave a $7,672.55 reimbursement. In furtherance of this scheme, Williams also allegedly used a template for a fake invoice designed to make it look as though these invoices were official and issued by an office.
Other players involved with this scheme include, Darius Miles, Alan Anderson, Tony Allen, Desiree Allen, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Marvin Ely, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Greg Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson, Antoine Wright, and Tony Wroten.
Members of this fraud scheme were also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud as a part of what New York prosecutors call a “widespread scheme to defraud” the NBA benefit plan.
This scheme was carried out from at least 2017-2020, though it could have gone over a longer time frame. In running this alleged ruse, the plan received false claims of approximately $4 million and the defendants received approximately $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.
Per court documents, several of the fraudulent invoices and medical necessity forms drew attention due to their lack of consistency. These documents were not on letterhead, contained grammatical errors and had logistical errors, i.e. being sent on the same date but from different offices.
While some players were told to repay the money they received, this was not required of all involved players.
As this is just breaking, developments are still forthcoming. Stay locked in with Conduct Detrimental for developments as this action progresses.
Stephon Burton is a 3L at Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh, PA. He obtained his undergraduate degree from Washington & Jefferson College in 2019. He can be contacted via email at [email protected], on twitter @stephonburton3 and LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephon-burton-7abb06125/