More than a dozen former NBA players were charged in New York federal court Monday for a health insurance fraud scheme involving the league's health and welfare benefit plan, according to NBC News' Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst.
According to the grand jury indictment, obtained by NBC News, the defendants engaged in a scheme lasting from at least 2017 up to around '20, which sought to defraud the NBA's benefit plan by submitting fake reimbursement claims for medical and dental services that were never actually rendered. Those fraudulent claims totaled about $3.9 million. Of that, the defendants received about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.
Terrence Williams, the No. 11 pick in the 2009 draft by the Nets, allegedly orchestrated the scheme, which also reportedly included, Sebastian Telfair, Darius Miles, Glen Davis, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jamario Moon and Tony Allen, among others.
Allen's wife, Desiree Allen, is the only woman, and nonplayer, charged in the indictment.
Milt Palacio, a current Trail Blazers assistant coach, was put on administrative leave by the team after being one of the 18 players arrested.
According to NBC News, Williams led the scheme and recruited others to participate by offering them fake invoices to support their false health plan claims.
In the indictment, Williams is accused of receiving kickback payments totaling at least $23,000 in return for providing the false documentation. He also allegedly impersonated an individual who processed plan claims at one point.
"The benefit plans provided by the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association to our players are critically important to support their health and well-being throughout their playing careers and over the course of their lives which makes these allegations particularly disheartening," the NBA said in a statement. "We will cooperate fully with the U.S. Attorney's Office in this matter.”