18 former NBA players and the wife of one of them were charged on Thursday by the United States Department of Justice with defrauding nearly $ 4 million to an organization’s health insurance plan.
The prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, said at a press conference that the group of athletes participated in a plot led by a former New Jersey Nets player, Terrence Williams, who took $ 230,000 in “commissions” paid for by the other participants.
Following an investigation, authorities determined that the defendants submitted false bills of $ 3.9 million to the medical plan to reimburse them for services they had not received. thanks to what they pocketed 2.5 million.
Strauss revealed that Williams was the “leader” of this active plot between 2017 and 2020, and considered that also their partners committed “fraud and deception” including NBA stars Tony Allen (and his wife Desiree), Shannon Brown and Ronald Glen Davis.
Several of the defendants have been detained by the FBI during the morning in different parts of the country and it is expected that they will appear soon before the judges of their districts, one of the defendants (Sebastian Telfair) this afternoon in New York.
On the false claims, they had a minimum value of $ 65,000 and a maximum of 420,000, the prosecutor explained that it was verified through records and GPS locations if the defendants were present or near the doctor or paramedic when they allegedly required their services.
In that sense, Strauss stressed that some of the former players were out of the country or claimed identical services, for example, or that two players asked for a refund for having root canals in the same thirteen teeth in the same afternoon.
Williams charged commissions in many cases, but on one occasion one of his partners did not want to pay him and he posed as a person in charge of the insurance plan, for which he has also been charged with serious identity theft, the prosecutor said.
The rest of the accused in the plot are Alan Anderson, William Bynum, Christopher Douglas Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palace, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright and Tony Wroten.
Each is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit insurance and wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if found guilty, while Williams is joined by identity theft, which carries a minimum of two years in prison.