Eighteen former National Basketball Association gamers have been indicted on fees they participated in a conspiracy to defraud an N.B.A. well being care plan of almost $4 million, the federal authorities stated on Thursday.
The scheme lasted from at the very least 2017 by means of final 12 months and concerned the submission of fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental companies that had not truly been supplied, in keeping with a federal indictment unsealed in Manhattan.
For probably the most half, the 18 former gamers charged in the scheme performed in the N.B.A. in the late Nineties and the 2000s. Two of probably the most notable are Ronald Glen Davis, nicknamed “Big Baby,” and Tony Allen, each of whom performed on the Boston Celtics group that received the N.B.A. championship in 2008.
Mr. Allen, now 39, was one of many league’s finest defensive gamers throughout his profession and is scheduled to have his number retired by the Memphis (*18*), the place he performed seven seasons, subsequent 12 months.
Others charged included promising prospects whose careers didn’t attain the heights that had been anticipated, together with Darius Miles and Sebastian Telfair, each of whom have been drafted out of highschool.
The indictment stated that one of many former gamers, Terrence Williams, who performed for the New Jersey Nets and the Houston Rockets, had orchestrated the scheme and recruited different former gamers by providing to produce them with false invoices to help their fraudulent claims. The indictment fees that Mr. Williams additionally acquired $230,000 in kickbacks in the scheme.
The conspirators submitted claims totaling $3.9 million, they usually in the end acquired about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds, in keeping with the indictment.
The fees have been introduced in New York on Thursday at a information convention held by Audrey Strauss, the U.S. lawyer for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, the pinnacle of the F.B.I.’s New York workplace.
Ms. Strauss stated that the investigation was ongoing.
Several of the gamers charged performed at the very least a part of their profession for New York-area groups, together with Shannon Brown with the Knicks, and Mr. Williams, Antoine Wright and Chris Douglas-Roberts with the Nets.
Others gained fleeting cases of fame, like Milton Palacio, who in 2000 hit a memorable buzzer beater in opposition to the Nets, and Ruben Patterson, who was stated — maybe apocryphally — to have known as himself the “Kobe Stopper,” for his purported potential to decelerate the Los Angeles Lakers celebrity Kobe Bryant.
Mr. Telfair, a cousin of the previous N.B.A. star Stephon Marbury, graced journal covers as among the finest highschool gamers in the nation when he performed at Brooklyn’s Lincoln High School in the early 2000s. But he was dogged by authorized troubles associated to weapons throughout his skilled profession, which included early stints with the Portland Trail Blazers and the Celtics.
In 2008, Mr. Telfair pleaded responsible to unlawful handgun possession and was sentenced to 3 years probation. In 2019, he was sentenced to three.5 years in jail for gun possession, this time stemming from an arrest two years earlier, when he was discovered with 4 loaded weapons and a bulletproof vest.
Sopan Deb contributed reporting.