Feds indict 18 former NBA players for '$3.9million healthcare scheme

Feds indict 18 former NBA players for ‘$3.9million healthcare scheme’: Ex-Net Terrence Williams’s plan to submit fake invoices for Glen Davis, Sebastian Telfair and others was ‘undone by grammatical errors’

  • A federal court has charged 18 ex-NBA players and one spouse with an alleged $3.9 million scheme aimed at defrauding the league’s health insurance plan
  • According to an indictment unsealed in the Southern District of New York, ex-Net Terrence Williams was the ringleader of the scheme to submit false invoices
  • Williams allegedly had fake template invoices emailed to the other defendants
  • The bogus invoices were noticed because they were allegedly ‘not on letterhead.’ Also, they contained ‘unusual formatting’ and ‘grammatical errors’
  • Other defendants include Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, Sebastian Telfair, Darius Miles, Tony Wroten, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jamario Moon and Shannon Brown
  • Six-time All-Defensive team selection Tony Allen was named with wife, Desiree
  • Melvin Ely, CJ Watson, Milt Palacio, Antoine Wright, Ruben Patterson, Alan Anderson, Eddie Robinson, Will Bynum, and Greg Smith were also indicted
  • The defendants are charged with health care fraud and aggravated identify theft
  • As of midday on Thursday, 16 of the 19 defendants had been arrested 
  • Authorities notices duplicate claims, such as identical dental procedures for Davis, Allen, and Wroten on the same teeth at the same time and place

A federal court in New York has charged 18 former NBA players and one spouse with an alleged $3.9 million scheme aimed at defrauding the league’s health insurance plan.

According to an indictment unsealed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday, former New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics guard Terrence Williams was the ringleader of the plan to submit false claims to the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan between 2017 and 2020. Specifically, Williams is accused of asking for kickbacks in exchange for filing false invoices on behalf of other former players.

Williams allegedly had fake template invoices emailed to the other defendants. However, according to the indictment, the bogus invoices were noticed because they were ‘not on letterhead.’ Also, they allegedly contained ‘unusual formatting’ and ‘grammatical errors.’ 

Other accused former players include Chris Douglas-Roberts, who played with Williams on the Nets, as well as Tony Allen, Shannon Brown, Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis, Sebastian Telfair, Darius Miles, Milt Palacio, Antoine Wright, Ruben Patterson, Alan Anderson, CJ Watson, Eddie Robinson, Will Bynum, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Greg Smith, and Tony Wroten.

Allen’s wife, Desiree, is also named as a defendant in the indictment, which was first reported by NBC New York.

All of the defendants are charged with health care fraud and aggravated identify theft. As of midday on Thursday, 16 of the 19 defendants had been arrested, according to prosecutors.  

A federal court in New York has charged 18 former NBA players and one spouse with an alleged $3.9 million scheme aimed at defrauding the league’s health insurance plan. According to an indictment unsealed in the Southern District of New York on Thursday, former New Jersey Nets and Boston Celtics guard Terrence Williams was the ringleader of the plan to submit false claims to the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan between 2017 and 2020. Specifically, Williams (pictured) is accused of asking for kickbacks in exchange for filing false invoices on behalf of other former players


Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis (left) and Darius Miles (right) were also named as defendants in the case

Former NBA guard Sebastian Telfair (pictured), a high school phenom and the younger cousin of former Knicks star Stephon Marbury, was named as a defendant in the fraud case 


Former Nets guard Chris Douglas-Roberts (right) was named as a defendant along with ix-time All-Defensive team selection Tony Allen (left) and his wife Desiree

The NBA released a statement Thursday in response to the indictments: ‘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. We will cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this matter.’ 

The retired players are accused of submitting fake reimbursement claims for both medical and dental work that they never actually received.

Some of the players were out of the country at the time they were supposed to be receiving the treatments, according to the complaint. Ultimately, the defendants filed $3.9 million in fraudulent claims, of which they have received $2.5 million, according to the indictment.

Williams is also accused of obtaining fake doctors notes for Watson, Wright and Davis and impersonating a claims processor. In one case, Williams allegedly filed a false reimbursement claim for $19,000 in chiropractic serves that he never received. The indictment says he still got a $7,672.55 reimbursement.  

Authorities also noticed duplicate invoices in which Davis, Allen, and Wroten all allegedly submitted dental claims for the same procedures on the same teeth at the same place on the same day.  

The indictment says some players were asked to replay money for false claims, and a few already have.

A journeyman player, Jamario Moon’s remarkable athleticism allowed him to team with LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2009 until 2011

A former first-round pick out of Louisville, Williams was derided for maturity issues during his career, such as tardiness and other infractions. He was also arrested in his native Washington state in 2013 when he allegedly showed a handgun to an ex-girlfriend during a scheduled visit with their 10-year-old son.

Davis was arrested in 2018 for drug possession and distribution after police found 126 grams of marijuana in a briefcase with $92,000 in cash at a Maryland hotel. Davis paid a $15,000 and prosecutors have not pursued charges.

Telfair has been arrested twice on gun charges, most recently in 2017 when he and another man were picked up during a traffic stop in Brooklyn. Police found marijuana and weapons.

He was eventually found guilty of felonious weapons possession and sentenced to three years in prison, but that case is currently under appeal.

NBA PLAYERS ARRESTED FOR ‘$3.9MILLION HEALTHCARE SCAM’ 

Terrence Williams: Alleged ringleader was a first-round pick out of Louisville by the New Jersey Nets in 2009. Williams allegedly made fake invoices and submitted them on behalf of other former players, but the bogus documents were noticed due to formatting and grammatical issues, according to the indictment. Williams was derided for maturity issues during his career, such as tardiness and other infractions. He was also arrested in his native Washington state in 2013 when he allegedly showed a handgun to an ex-girlfriend during a scheduled visit with their 10-year-old son.

Terrence Williams, center, appears before King County District Court Judge Charles J. Delaurenti, II, right, with his attorney, Aaron Kiviat, left, Monday, May 20, 2013, in Kent, Washington. Williams was arrested in 2013 and accused of brandishing a gun at the mother of his 10-year-old son during a visitation exchange

Sebastian Telfair: A high school phenom and the younger cousin of former Knicks star Stephon Marbury, Telfair struggled in the NBA and has battled legal problems in recent years. In 2017, he and another man were picked up during a traffic stop in Brooklyn after being found with marijuana and firearms. He was eventually found guilty of felonious weapons possession and sentenced to three years in prison, but that case is currently under appeal.

Glen ‘Big Baby’ Davis: Another member of the 2007-8 champion Celtics, Davis went on to play for the Clippers and Orlando Magic, but has faced his own legal problems. He was arrested in 2018 for drug possession and distribution after police found 126 grams of marijuana in a briefcase with $92,000 in cash at a Maryland hotel. Davis paid a $15,000 and prosecutors have not pursued charges.

Tony Allen: A six-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection, Allen was indicted along with his wife Desiree. Allen was a key bench contributor for the Boston Celtics’ title-winning team in 2008 and later starred for several Memphis Grizzlies playoff teams.

A former first-round pick out of Fresno State, Ely teamed with Darius Miles on the Clippers and later won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007. In this 2009 photo, Ely is picture grabbing a rebound while with the New Orleans Pelicans 

Best known for a game-winning buzzer-beating shot against the Nets in 2000, Milt Palacio played for six NBA teams

Jamario Moon: A journeyman player, Moon’s remarkable athleticism allowed him to team with LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers from 2009 until 2011.

Alan Anderson: Journeyman NBA player out of Michigan State started his career with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2005, but soon found himself overseas before returning to suit up for the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets.

Shannon Brown: A former first-round pick out of Michigan State, Brown is best remembered for suiting up alongside Kobe Bryant on a pair of Los Angeles Lakers title-winning teams.

Will Bynum: After playing overseas, Bynum became a regular contributor for the Detroit Pistons from 2008 until 2014.


Best known for his time on the Chicago Bulls and Brooklyn Nets, CJ Watson (left) played for five NBA teams and most recently played professionally in Turkey in 2019. Undrafted out of Central Oklahoma in 1998, Eddie Robinson (right) played for the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls from 1999 to 2004

Alan Anderson, a journeyman NBA player out of Michigan State, started his career with the Charlotte Bobcats in 2005, but soon found himself overseas before returning to suit up for the Toronto Raptors and Brooklyn Nets

Melvin Ely: A former first-round pick out of Fresno State, Ely teamed with Darius Miles on the Clippers and later won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.

Christopher Douglas-Roberts: A former teammate of Williams’s with the Nets, Douglas-Roberts was an All-American at Memphis before an eight-year professional career.

Tony Wroten: A former Grizzlies and 76ers guard who now plays in Spain.

Known as the ‘Kobe stopper’ for his relative defensive success against Kobe Bryant, Ruben Patterson played for six NBA teams from 1998 to 2007

Milt Palacio: Best known for a game-winning buzzer-beating shot against the Nets in 2000, the citizen of Belize played for six NBA teams.

Antoine Wright: A former first-round pick by the New Jersey Nets in 2005, Wright’s pro career ended in Mexico in 2016.

Darius Miles: Drafted third out of high school by the Clippers in 2000, Miles had an underwhelming NBA career and was out of the pros by 2009. As an actor, he appeared in the 2004 film, The Perfect Score, about teens cheating on standardized tests.

Ruben Patterson: Known as the ‘Kobe stopper’ for his relative defensive success against Kobe Bryant, Patterson played for six NBA teams from 1998 to 2007.

Eddie Robinson: Undrafted out of Central Oklahoma in 1998, Robinson played for the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls from 1999 to 2004.

Gregory Smith: Briefly played for three NBA teams from 2014 to 2016.

CJ Watson: Best known for his time on the Chicago Bulls, the former Tennessee guard played for five NBA teams and most recently played professionally in Turkey in 2019. 

A former first-round pick out of Michigan State, Shannon Brown is best remembered for suiting up alongside Kobe Bryant on a pair of Los Angeles Lakers title-winning teams

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