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Federal prosecutors announced the indictment of 18 former professional basketball players and one spouse, who are accused of submitting fraudulent reimbursement claims for fictitious medical and dental expenses.

The alleged “ringleader” of the scheme was said to be Terrence Williams. He was drafted by the then-New Jersey Nets as their 11th overall pick in 2009. Williams allegedly recruited other NBA health plan participants into the scheme, providing them with falsified invoices to claim medical and dental services that were never rendered.

Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Anthony Allen, Desiree Allen (Alan’s wife), Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Ronald Glen Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, a/k/a “Supreme Bey,” Melvin Ely (former Fresno State standout), Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palacio, Ruben Pattierson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright, and Anthony Wroten are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Tennence Williams is also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

Ronald Glen Davis will be prosecuted in the Central District of California. The other defendants will be prosecuted in other jurisdictions. Anthony Allen Douglas-Roberts, and Robinson remain at large. Milt Palacio, a current Trail Blazers assistant coach, was put on administrative leave by the team after being one of the 18 players arrested.

The indictment charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to defraud the National Basketball Associations Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of nearly $4,000,000.

The National Basketball Association Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan is a health care plan providing benefits to eligible active and former players of the NBA.

From at least 2017, up to about 2020 the defendants engaged in a widespread scheme to defraud the Plan by submitting and causing to be submitted fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental services that were not actually rendered.  

Williams orchestrated the scheme to defraud the Plan. He recruited other Plan participants to defraud the Plan by offering to provide them with false invoices to support their fraudulent claims. Williams provided some of the other defendants with false provider invoices, which those defendants then submitted to the Plan for reimbursement of fraudulent claims. Several of the fake invoices stood out because, “they are not on letterhead, they contain unusual formatting, they have grammatical errors.”

Williams provided the other charged defendants fake invoices from a particular Chiropractic Office in California, which were created by individuals working with Williams. In addition, Williams obtained fraudulent invoices from a dentist affiliated with dental offices in Beverly Hills, California, and from a doctor at a Wellness Office in Washington State. The fraudulent invoices purported to document that some of the defendants,and, in some cases, members of their families, had been recipients of expensive medical and dental services.

But the defendants had not received the medical or dental services described in the invoices Williams provided them. In many instances, the defendants were not even located in the vicinity of the service providers on the dates the invoices stated they received medical or dental services. In particular, GPS location information and/or documents, such as flight records, show that the defendants were in locations other than the vicinity of the medical or dental offices falsely claimed as the providers of services.

In return for his provision of false supporting documentation for their fraudulent claims, many of the defendants paid Williams kickbacks, totaling at least $230,000. Williams also used the personal identifying information of an employee of the Administrative Manager, which managed the Plan, in the course of the fraud scheme.

The prosecution of this case is being overseen by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Kristy J. Greenberg and Ryan B. Finkel are in charge of the prosecution.