'flagrant violations of law'
A group of former NBA players has been arrested in connection with an alleged $4 million health care fraud conspiracy.
Eighteen former NBA players were charged Thursday with defrauding the NBA Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of $4 million, NBC News reports. They are accused of submitting false claims to the plan to be reimbursed for nonexistent medical and dental services from 2017 through 2020, The Associated Press reports. In one example, a player allegedly falsely submitted a claim that he received dental care in Beverly Hills in December 2018 despite the fact that he wasn't even in the United States on that day.
The defendants in the case included Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Anthony Allen, Desiree Allen, Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Glen Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright, and Anthony Wroten, according to NBC. They were each charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.
During a news conference, Audrey Strauss, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, alleged that Williams was the "leader of the conspiracy." He allegedly provided the other players with false invoices and received around $230,000 in kickbacks.
"The defendants' playbook involved fraud and deception," 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."