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“It’s a complicated, factually driven case” says attorney defending former NBA player Tony Allen and his wife in wire fraud case

Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 5:24 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Eighteen former NBA players, including Grizzlies legend Tony Allen, were charged with defrauding the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of millions of dollars.

Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen, is the only woman charged in the indictment, she was in federal court Thursday.

Attorney Leslie Ballin says the judge set a $250,000 unsecured bond for Desiree, which means no money or property was required, but if she does not show up to her next court date, she will owe the full amount.

“She has a court date in Manhattan October 25th at this point,” Ballin said.

The indictment also includes 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.

Ballin says Tony Allen has yet to have his first appearance in court.

“Mr. Allen has not been arrested yet, that should occur Tuesday. He had some travel issues that made it impossible to do it today and Monday is a federal holiday so the courts are closed Monday so I expect his initial appearance will be Tuesday,” Ballin said.

The scheme targeted the NBA Players Health and Benefits plan, which provides additional coverage for eligible NBA players and their families.

According to reports, the scheme was carried out from 2017 to 2020.

Authorities say each former player received anywhere from 65 to $400,000 in false claims.

Allen and Wroten are accused of filing for root canals, done on the same 13 teeth, on the same day.

“It’s a complicated, factually driven case to try in front of a jury, take a long time especially with the number of defendants on the indictment,” Ballin said.

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