More than a dozen former NBA players — including ex-Los Angeles Lakers guard and two-time NBA champion Shannon Brown — have been charged in New York in an alleged multimillion-dollar health insurance fraud scheme to rip off the league’s benefit plan, it was announced Thursday.
Among the 18 former players named in the indictment were former Clippers players Darius Miles, Sebastian Telfair and Glen “Big Baby” Davis, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
The charges include conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud.
“The defendants’ playbook involved fraud and deception,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said. “Thanks to the hard work of our law enforcement partners, their alleged scheme has been disrupted and they will have to answer for their flagrant violations of law.”
According to the indictment, the defendants allegedly engaged in a widespread scheme from at least 2017 up to around 2020 to defraud the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan by submitting fake reimbursement claims for medical and dental services that never actually took place.
Prosecutors contend the phony claims totaled about $3.9 million, from which the defendants got about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.
The indictment alleges that scheme ringleader and former New Jersey Nets player Terrence Williams provided co-defendants with fake invoices from a dentist working with a clinic in Beverly Hills. In return for providing bogus documentation for their fraudulent claims, many of the defendants paid Williams kickbacks, totaling at least $230,000, the indictment alleges.