Eighteen former Nationwide Basketball Affiliation gamers have been indicted on prices they participated in a conspiracy to defraud an N.B.A. well being care plan of almost $4 million, the federal authorities mentioned on Thursday.
The scheme lasted from at the very least 2017 via final 12 months and concerned the submission of fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental providers that had not been truly carried out, in keeping with a federal indictment unsealed in Manhattan.
For essentially the most half, the 18 former gamers charged within the scheme performed within the N.B.A. within the late Nineteen Nineties and the 2000s. Two of essentially the most notable are Ronald Glen Davis, nicknamed “Large Child,” and Tony Allen, each of whom performed on the Boston Celtics group that gained the N.B.A. championship in 2008. Allen, now 39, was one of many league’s finest defensive gamers throughout his profession and is scheduled to have his number retired by the Memphis Grizzlies, the place he performed seven seasons, subsequent 12 months.
Others charged included promising prospects whose careers didn’t attain the heights that had been anticipated, together with Darius Miles and Sebastian Telfair, each of whom had been drafted out of highschool.
Mr. Telfair, a cousin of the previous N.B.A. star Stephon Marbury, graced journal covers as among the finest highschool gamers within the nation when he performed at Brooklyn’s Lincoln Excessive College within the early 2000s. Nevertheless, he was dogged by authorized troubles associated to weapons throughout an in any other case underwhelming skilled profession. In 2008, Mr. Telfair pleaded responsible to unlawful handgun possession. He was sentenced to a few years probation. In 2019, Mr. Telfair was sentenced to three.5 years in jail for gun possession once more, this time stemming from a 2017 arrest when he was discovered with four loaded guns and a bulletproof vest.
The indictment mentioned that one of many 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 providing to produce them with false invoices to help their fraudulent claims. The indictment prices that Mr. Williams additionally obtained $230,000 in kickbacks within the scheme.
The indictment mentioned the conspirators submitted claims totaling $3.9 million and obtained about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.
The costs are to be introduced in New York later at present at a information convention by 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 workplace.
A number of of the gamers charged performed at the very least a part of their profession for New York space groups, together with Shannon Brown with the Knicks, and Williams, Antoine Wright and Chris Douglas-Roberts with the Nets. Others gained fleeting situations of fame, like Milton Palacio, who in 2000 hit a memorable buzzer beater in opposition to the Nets, or Ruben Patterson, who was said to have called himself the “Kobe Stopper,” claiming to be one of many few defenders who might decelerate the Los Angeles Lakers famous person Kobe Bryant.