18 Former N.B.A. Players Are Charged in $4 Million Insurance Fraud Scheme

Eighteen former Nationwide Basketball Affiliation gamers were indicted on fees they participated in a conspiracy to defraud an N.B.A. well being care plan of just about $four million, the federal government mentioned on Thursday.

The scheme lasted from no less than 2017 thru remaining 12 months and concerned the submission of fraudulent claims for compensation of clinical and dental products and services that had no longer in truth been supplied, consistent with a federal indictment unsealed in New york.

For probably the most phase, the 18 former gamers charged within the scheme performed within the N.B.A. within the overdue 1990s and the 2000s. Two of probably the most notable are Ronald Glen Davis, nicknamed “Large Child,” and Tony Allen, either one of whom performed at the Boston Celtics group that gained the N.B.A. championship in 2008.

Mr. Allen, now 39, was once probably the most league’s highest defensive gamers all over his profession and is scheduled to have his quantity retired by way of the Memphis Grizzlies, the place he performed seven seasons, subsequent 12 months.

Others charged incorporated promising potentialities whose careers didn’t achieve the heights that have been anticipated, together with Darius Miles and Sebastian Telfair, either one of whom had been drafted out of highschool.

The indictment mentioned that probably the most former gamers, Terrence Williams, who performed for the New Jersey Nets and the Houston Rockets, had orchestrated the scheme and recruited different former gamers by way of providing to offer them with false invoices to make stronger their fraudulent claims. The indictment fees that Mr. Williams additionally gained $230,000 in kickbacks within the scheme.

The conspirators submitted claims totaling $three.nine million, they usually in the end gained about $2.five million in fraudulent proceeds, consistent with the indictment.

The costs had been introduced in New York on Thursday at a information convention held by way of Audrey Strauss, the U.S. lawyer for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the top of the F.B.I.’s New York administrative center.

Ms. Strauss mentioned that the investigation was once ongoing.

A number of of the gamers charged performed no less than a part of their profession for New York-area groups, together with Shannon Brown with the Knicks, and Mr. Williams, Antoine Wright and Chris Douglas-Roberts with the Nets.

Others won fleeting cases of status, like Milton Palacio, who in 2000 hit a memorable buzzer beater towards the Nets, and Ruben Patterson, who was once mentioned — possibly apocryphally — to have known as himself the “Kobe Stopper,” for his purported talent to decelerate the Los Angeles Lakers celebrity Kobe Bryant.

Mr. Telfair, a cousin of the previous N.B.A. famous person Stephon Marbury, graced mag covers as probably the most highest highschool gamers within the nation when he performed at Brooklyn’s Lincoln Prime College within the early 2000s. However he was once dogged by way of felony troubles associated with guns all over his skilled profession, which incorporated early stints with the Portland Path Blazers and the Celtics.

In 2008, Mr. Telfair pleaded in charge to unlawful handgun ownership and was once sentenced to a few years probation. In 2019, he was once sentenced to a few.five years in jail for gun ownership, this time stemming from an arrest two years previous, when he was once discovered with 4 loaded weapons and a bulletproof vest.

Sopan Deb contributed reporting.

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