Tony Allen, Glen “Big Baby” Davis and Sebastian Telfair are among the 18 former NBA players who’ve been indicted in a health care fraud case.
The ex-NBA players are accused of defrauding the league’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of nearly $4 million. The scheme, which ran from roughly 2017 through 2020, involved the athletes submitting false claims for reimbursement for medical and dental services that never occurred.
“The defendants’ playbook involved fraud and deception,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a press release. “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.”
Tony Allen’s wife Desiree Allen is the only non-player named in the indictment. Terrence Williams, the alleged mastermind behind the scheme, is accused of recruiting ex-players and supplying them with fake invoices. The feds say he received more than $230,000 in kickbacks.
The NBA veterans facing charges in the case include Milt Palacio, Antoine Wright, Darius Miles, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Greg Smith, Jamario Moon, Alan Anderson, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Melvin Ely, Anthony Wroten, C.J. Watson and Chris Douglas-Roberts.
All of the former players and Allen’s wife have been charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud. Williams is also being charged with aggravated identity theft.
“The health care industry loses tens of billions of dollars a year to fraud,” FBI Assistant Director Michael J. Driscoll said. “Thanks to the work of our dedicated FBI agents and partners alike, cases like this demonstrate our continued focus in uncovering health care fraud scams that harm both the industry and the consumers of their services.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea added, “Today’s federal indictment represents the NYPD’s long-term commitment, working with its law enforcement partners, in making sure those accused of health care related fraud are held accountable. I commend those involved in the investigation, the FBI, and the office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District in New York for its work in ensuring there is justice in this case.”