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Eighteen former NBA players and the wife of one of them were accused this Thursday by the United States Department of Justice of defraud almost $ 4 million to an organization’s health insurance plan.
The prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, said at a press conference that the group of athletes participated in a plot led by a former New Jersey Nets player, Terrence Williams, who took $ 230,000 in “commissions” paid by the other participants.
After an investigation, the authorities determined that the defendants delivered false invoices worth 3.9 million dollars to the medical plan to reimburse them for services they had not received, thanks to which they pocketed 2.5 million.
Strauss revealed that Williams was the “leader” of this active plot between 2017 and 2020, and considered that his partners, including the NBA stars, also committed “fraud and deception”. Tony Allen (and his wife Desiree), Shannon Brown and Ronald Glen Davis.
Several of the defendants have been detained by the FBI during the morning in different parts of the country and it is expected that they will appear soon before the judges of their districts, one of the defendants (Sebastian Telfair) this afternoon in New York.
Regarding the false claims, which had a minimum value of $ 65,000 and a maximum of 420,000, the prosecutor explained that it was verified through records and GPS locations if the defendants were present or near the doctor or paramedic when they allegedly required their services. In that sense, Strauss stressed that some of the former players were out of the country or claimed identical services, for example, or that two players requested a refund for having root canals on the same thirteen teeth on the same afternoon.
Williams charged commissions in many cases, but on one occasion one of his partners did not want to pay him and he posed as a person in charge of the insurance plan, for which he has also been charged with serious identity theft, the prosecutor said.
El resto de acusados en la trama son: Alan Anderson; William Bynum, Christopher Douglas Roberts; Melvin Ely; Jamario Moon; Darius Miles; Milton Palacio; Ruben Patterson; Eddie Robinson; Gregory Smith; Charles Watson Jr.; Antoine Wright y Anthony Wroten.
Each is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit insurance and wire fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison if found guilty, while Williams is joined by identity theft, which carries a minimum of two years in prison.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.