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Financial Crime: DOJ charges 18 ex-NBA players in $4 million healthcare scam

Eighteen former NBA players have been charged with defrauding the league’s health and welfare benefit plan out of about $4 million, according to the Department of Justice.

All of those charged have a warrant out for their arrests, according to the indictment.

According to the indictment, the ex-players engaged in a widespread scheme to defraud the plan by submitting false and fraudulent claims to get reimbursed for medical and dental expenses that were never actually incurred.

Former NBA players charged were: Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Anthony Allen, Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Ronald Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright, and Anthony Wroten, according to NBC.

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“One of the charged defendants, Gregory Smith, submitted a claim to the plan stating that he received IV sedation, root canals and crowns on eight teeth at a dentists office in Beverly Hills on December 20, 2018, at a total cost of almost $48,000. But Smith was nowhere near Beverly Hills, or even in the state of California on December 20, 2018. Travel records and email and publicly available box scores show that he was playing professional basketball in Taiwan that week and did not receive eight root canals in Beverly Hills as represented in the claim form he submitted, “Audrey Strauss, United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on Thursday.

The 18 players were among 19 people charged in the indictment. It said that the scheme was carried out from at least 2017 to 2020, when the plan received false claims totaling about $3.9 million. Of that, the defendants received about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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