New York-18 ex-NBA players spend about $ 2.5 million on Thursday, tricking the league’s health and welfare profit plans with fraud that authorities said would include billing fictitious medical and dental costs He was charged with illegally putting it in his pocket.
Defendant’s playbook contains fraud and deception after FBI agents across the country arrested 15 ex-players and one of their wives in a three-year conspiracy that officials said began in 2017, officials said. I was arrested, “he said at a press conference.
According to the indictment returned to the Federal Court of Justice in Manhattan, the former player worked together to defraud the supplementary compensation plan by filing a fraudulent claim to receive a medical and dental treatment refund that never occurred.
According to Strauss, the prosecutor has travel records, emails, and GPS data, proving that he was far away from the clinic and dental office at a time when the former athlete was suspected of being treated.
In one example, she said she was playing basketball in Taiwan when a former player had a root canal and crown worth $ 48,000 on eight teeth at a dental clinic in Beverly Hills, California in December 2018. Said.
According to the indictment, the plan was implemented at least from 2017 to 2020, and the plan was funded primarily by the NBA team and received a total of approximately $ 3.9 million in false claims. Of that, the defendant received fraudulent income of approximately $ 2.5 million.
Strauss said each defendant made false allegations of redemption in the range of $ 65,000 to $ 420,000.
In a statement, the NBA argued that the benefits plans offered by the League and the National Basketball Players Association are so important to support a player’s health and well-being throughout his career and retirement life. I called it “especially discouraging.”
“We will fully cooperate with US law firms in this regard,” the statement said.
Michael J. Driscol, head of the FBI office in New York, showed that the case continues to focus on finding fraudulent scams that cost the medical industry tens of billions of dollars a year. He said he was.
Strauss said the plot was led by Terence Williams, who began his NBA career as a pick for the first round in 2009. The indictment said he filed $ 19,000 for fraudulent charges in a plan for chiropractic care. The claim led to Williams paying $ 7,672.
According to the complaint, he then recruited other former NBA players to defraud the plan and offered to file fraudulent invoices from chiropractors and dentists in Southern California, and the wellness office in Washington. rice field.
At least 10 of the former players paid Williams a total kickback of about $ 230,000, according to court documents. A lawyer representing Williams in the past declined to comment.
NS Net In the 2009 draft, he chose Williams, who was 11th. He continued to play in four franchises-Nets, Celtics, rocket When Kings -Average of 7.1 points per game over 4 seasons as a role player. He was abandoned by Boston two days after his 26th birthday in 2013 and did not play in the league again.
Among other indictments were Tony Allen, a member of the 2008 Champion Celtics, a six-time All-Defensive Team Selection. His wife was also charged. Tony Allen was not in custody as of Thursday afternoon. NS Memphis Grizzlies A few weeks ago, he announced plans to retire Allen’s number in the match on January 28th. Utah Jazz..
However, in most cases, the indicted ex-player has played Journeyman’s career with several teams and never reached close to the huge stardom or salary commanded by top players. ..
Still, 18 players combined earned $ 343 million in the NBA career on the court. This does not include external income, approval, or possible play abroad.
Strauss refused to speculate on their motives and financial situation, stating that doing so would go beyond the facts of the indictment.
Another former player indicted was Sebastian Telfair, a former high school star in New York who was widely touted when he turned pro, but his NBA career in eight franchises was seen by some. Did not bring the expected stardom.
Telfair’s finances qualified him as a lawyer appointed to court in a court appearance in Manhattan. The judge paid bail for $ 250,000, but Telfair was released with his signature alone.
His lawyer, Deborah Corson, declined to comment. Telfair, in running wear and green sneakers, did not respond to requests for comment outside the courtroom where Corson entered his acquittal on his behalf.
Milt Palacio was taken on leave from his role as an assistant coach Portland Trail Blazers The team said Thursday after he was charged. The Trail Blazers declined further comment that it “pends the outcome of legal proceedings.”
Among the other players charged, Tony Wroten, Ruben Patterson and Darius Miles were the only players to average double-digit numbers in the NBA’s career.
All were charged with conspiracy to attempt medical fraud and transfer fraud. This can result in imprisonment of up to 20 years. Williams was also charged with exacerbated personal information theft. This can result in imprisonment of up to two years.
Strauss said the indictment was filed because Williams tried to scare the co-defendant to impersonate an employee and pay a kickback from a health insurance manager, and said the co-defendant would repay him money. Received claiming that there was a problem with the invoice that he might request.
Arrests occurred in Washington, California, New York, Alabama, Illinois, Florida, Nevada, Georgia, and Tennessee.
It was not immediately clear who would represent the defendants other than Telfair in court or comment on their behalf.
Efforts to contact through lawyers or organizations associated with Ely, Miles, or Patterson, or emails sent to Allens’ possible addresses did not receive an immediate response. A person who answered the phone at Erie’s relatives said they were unaware of the incident.
A valid phone number or email address for Davis or Wroten was not immediately found. An email has been sent to a possible address in Palacio.
Former NFL players Clinton Portis, Tamaric Banover and Robert McCune were charged weeks later Plead guilty Against their role in national health fraud programs.
– NBA Sports
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