Eighteen former NBA players have been charged in an alleged insurance fraud scheme that ripped off the league’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan by nearly $4 million.
The indictment was unsealed Thursday in Manhattan federal court, according to the Associated Press. Some of the former hoops stars named include alleged ringleader Terrence Williams; former Lakers Guard Shannon Brown; Glen Davis, who played for the 2008 NBA Champions Boston Celtics; former Celtics player Anthony ‘Tony’ Allen; former Brooklyn Nets player Alan Anderson; former Detroit Pistons player Bill Bynum; and former Cleveland Cavaliers player Darius Miles who is also an actor.
Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen, was also charged and is the only woman named as a defendant.
The indictment alleges Williams started the scam when he first submitted fraudulent claims to the healthcare plan totaling $19,000 for chiropractic care. Prosecutors say he then recruited other former NBA players and created fraudulent invoices for different types of medical services. The scheme went on between 2017 to 2020, according to the indictment. Williams is alleged to have received kickbacks totaling at least $230,000.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 16 of the players had been taken into custody across the country by Thursday morning.
The FBI did not release any updates on the case on its official Twitter account but the agency did remind its followers what constitutes health insurance fraud. “In health care fraud schemes, fraudsters submit false or misleading information to health care systems to receive unlawful benefits or payments. Health care fraud is not a victimless crime,” the FBI tweeted.
Four of the players were NBA Champions, including Allen, Brown, Glen Davis from the 2008 Boston Celtics champion team with Allen, and Melvin Ely, who won a title with the San Antonio Spurs in 2007.
Brown was married to Grammy-winning singer Monica from 2010 to 2019. The pair met when he starred as the R&B artist’s love interest for her music video “Love All Over Me.” In October 2019, Monica and Brown’s divorce was finalized.