In late 2019, a group of former NFL players headlined by Clinton Portis were charged with committing health care fraud against a plan for those who played in the league. Now, a large group of NBA players face similar charges.
18 former NBA players have been arrested and charged by federal officials with defrauding the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan, according to NBC News’ Tom Winter and Jonathan Dienst. Among the most significant names involved: Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Sebastian Telfair, and former Memphis Grizzlies defensive star Tony Allen.
Milt Palacio, Antoine Wright, Darius Miles, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Jamario Moon, Terrance Williams, Alan Anderson, Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Melvin Ely, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, C.J. Watson, and Tony Wroten are also involved in the alleged scheme. Desiree Allen, Tony Allen’s wife, has also been charged.
The group is alleged to have committed fraud for a total of $4 million. According to The Washington Post, “the scheme was carried out from at least 2017 to 2020, when the plan received false claims totaling about $3.9 million.”
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The players allegedly received a total of $2.5 million of the proceeds from the fraudulent medical claims. That would come out to around $133,000 per player, plus Desiree Allen, on average.
As a group, the players involved played in over 6,600 career NBA games, with a number of the players carving out long, successful careers. Tony Allen and Glen Davis were both members of the 2007-08 NBA Champion Boston Celtics, while Melvin Ely won a title a season earlier as member of the San Antonio Spurs.
We’ll have more as it comes out about this scheme, and the players’ involvement.