Grizzlies legend, 17 other former NBA players charged with defrauding league’s health plan

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:13 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 10:14 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Eighteen former NBA players, including Grizzlies franchise legend Tony Allen and several other Memphis athletes, were charged Thursday with defrauding the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Play out of millions of dollars, reports NBC News.

Others charged include Tony Wroten, a Grizzlies first-round pick in 2012; Darius Miles, who ended his NBA career in Memphis in 2009; and Christopher Douglas-Roberts, who was a member of the 2008 Memphis Tiger Final Four team before being drafted by the New Jersey Nets.

Federal prosecutors shared details Thursday of the case filed in Manhattan federal court. 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.

The defendants also include Desiree Allen, Tony Allen’s wife; Terrence Williams; Alan Anderson; Shannon Brown; William Bynum, Ronald Glen “Big Baby” Davis; Melvin Ely; Jamario Moon; Milton Palacio; Ruben Patterson; Eddie Robinson; Gregory Smith; Sebastian Telfair; Charles Watson Jr.; and Antoine Wright.

The 18 players were among 19 individuals charged in the indictment alleging the scheme was carried out from at least 2017 to 2020 when the plan received false claims of about $3.9 million, the AP reports. The defendants received about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.

They were arrested Thursday and charged with conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud.

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