Former NBA Player and Leader of $5 Million Health Insurance Fraud Scam Enters Guilty Plea
According to an article by NBC New York, ex-NBA player Terrence Williams has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud and aggravated identity theft (as well as intimidating a witness) last month for his role as the alleged leader in a largescale scheme defrauding the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.
Williams will serve a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge, he will pay a $2.5 million restitution payment to the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan and over $650,000 to the government, and will be sentenced in January 2023.
Williams did not act alone, as he was only one of 18 former NBA players indicted for the multi-million-dollar scheme in which they submitted fraudulent reimbursement claims for both medical and dental services that they never received.
NBC New York stated the following:
“Williams allegedly orchestrated the years-long scheme and recruited other NBA health plan participants to assist by offering them fake invoices to support their claims. He allegedly received at least $230,000 in kickback payments from 10 other players in return for providing the alleged false documentation.
The 34-year-old Williams also allegedly helped three co-defendants – [Ronald Glen] Davis, Charles Watson Jr. and Antoine Wright -- obtain fake letters of medical necessity to justify some of the services on which the false invoices were based.
Williams also allegedly impersonated an individual who processed plan claims at one point in furtherance of his alleged scheme.”
How did they get caught, you ask? According to NBC New York…
“In some cases, the players who submitted the alleged false claims weren't even in the United States at the times they allegedly received the treatments. They allegedly filed fake invoices saying they had to pay for the phantom procedures out of pocket.”
“According to the court documents, several of the fake invoices and medical necessity forms stood out because, ‘they are not on letterhead, they contain unusual formatting, they have grammatical errors’ and were sent on the same dates from different offices.” Bad grammar. It’ll get ya.
And finally, which former NBA players have been charged?
“Terrence Williams: Alleged orchestrator of the scheme. Drafted by New Jersey Nets 11th overall in 2009, played for Nets in 2009-2010 and had a triple-double for them against Bulls on April 9, 2010 (27 points/13 rebounds/10 assists). His career deflated after that and he mostly bounced around the NBA D league and overseas.”
“Alan Anderson: Played for the Brooklyn Nets in 2013 and 2014, was a bench player for four NBA teams from 2012 to 2017.”
“Anthony Allen: Goes by the name Tony, played for three teams in 15 NBA seasons (Celtics, Grizzlies, Pelicans) and was a first-round pick by Boston in 2004. He was a crucial part of the 2008 Celtics team that won the NBA title. His wife, Desiree, is the only woman named in the federal indictment that was unsealed on Thursday.”
“Shannon Brown: Former 1st round pick in 2006 by the Cleveland Cavaliers. He played with LeBron James in Cleveland and won two NBA titles with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers (2009, 2010) as a key role player. He played for the Knicks in 2014 and played for a total of eight NBA teams from 2006-2014.”
“William Bynum: Played for three NBA teams but spent most of his career with the Detroit Pistons from 2008-2014.”
“Melvin Ely: Former 2002 1st round pick who played for five NBA teams from 2002-2011 and was part of the San Antonio Spurs 2007 NBA title team even though he never played in playoffs.”
“Christopher Douglas-Roberts: Goes by alias “Supreme Bey,” was drafted by the then-New Jersey Nets in 2008 and traded to the Bucks in 2010 but his career fizzled.”
“Anthony Wroten: Goes by ‘Tony,’ was a 2012 first-round pick who played sparingly from 2012-2016 for Memphis and Philadelphia.”
“Milton Palacio: Goes by Milt, played for six NBA teams from 1999 to 2006. He once beat the then-New Jersey Nets on a buzzer beater in 2000 but otherwise was more of an end-of-bench player.”
“Sebastian Telfair: One of the most highly touted high school prospects when he was coming up, the product from Brooklyn's Coney Island played for nine NBA teams from 2004 to 2014.”
“Antoine Wright: 2005 1st-round pick started NBA career with New Jersey Nets (2005-2008), mostly as bench player.”
“Darius Miles: Draft third overall by the Los Angeles Clippers in 2000, was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2002 where he was a teammate of then-rookie LeBron James. He has acted in several movies.”
“Ruben Patterson: Played for six different NBA teams from 1998 to 2007, known for his defense on the court.”
“Eddie Robinson: Played for the Charlotte Hornets and the Chicago Bulls from 1999 to 2004.”
“Gregory Smith: Briefly played for three NBA teams in three seasons (2014 to 2016).”
“Ronald Glen Davis: Goes by ‘Glen’ or ‘Big Baby,’ started at LSU in college then became a key player for the Boston Celtics from 2007 to 2011, including winning a title in 2008. He played for three NBA teams in total between 2007 and 2015.”
“Jamario Moon: Played for five NBA teams from 2007 to 2012, briefly hit highlight of career playing with Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James from 2009 to 2011.”