More than a dozen former NBA players—a dozen and a half to be exact—are no longer on the basketball court but will be appearing in a criminal court of law after being indicted Thursday (Oct. 7) on federal charges related to a multi-million-dollar health insurance fraud scheme allegedly spearheaded by none other than former New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets player Terrence Williams.
According to NBC New York, from at least 2017 up to some time last year, Williams orchestrated a scheme to defraud the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan by submitting fake invoices for reimbursement for medical treatment he and other participants never received. For example, one infraction described in the indictment is a $19,000 claim that Williams allegedly filed for a visit to a chiropractor he never saw, despite being reimbursed for $7,672.55 in medical bill money he never spent.
Williams is accused of not only putting the scam together and recruiting 17 other ex-players to take part in it, but he allegedly received more than $200K in kickback payments for providing players with false documentation to get paid for doctor’s visits that never happened.
In all, the players tallied up some $3.9 million in fraudulent claims racking up around $2.5 million to go in their pockets, the indictments allege.
Other players named in the New York federal court indictment include former Lakers guard Shannon Brown, ex-Boston Celtics star Ronald Glen Davis and other NBA veterans Darius Miles, William Bynum, Anthony Allen, Milton Palacio and Eddie Robinson.
“The benefit plans provided by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to our players are critically important to support their health and well-being throughout their playing careers and over the course of their lives, which makes these allegations particularly disheartening,” the NBA said in a statement. “We will cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this matter.”
As of now, all players named in the indictment are charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare and wire fraud as well as aggravated identity theft. The FBI reportedly said “this remains an ongoing investigation,” but it’s unclear whether or not that means more charges will come or if more arrests will be made.