(LibertySociety.com) – Two former NBA players were among a group of more than 20 people convicted of defrauding the NBA Players’ Health and Benefit Welfare Plan. Glen Davis, who played for the Boston Celtics, was found guilty on four counts, which included wire fraud and healthcare fraud, as well as conspiring to commit fraud and conspiring to make false statements. Former Detroit Piston player Will Bynum was convicted of making false statements but was acquitted on the other charges. Several other NBA players were also convicted in the scheme, including ringleader Terrance Williams, who was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in 2009.
Williams learned his fate back in August when he was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution. The sentencing judge scolded Williams for his greediness and decision to commit fraud, which resulted in the loss of the money he had made during his professional career. The players participated in the scheme with three healthcare providers, who were also convicted. Davis and one other player conspired with a dentist to submit claims for crowns on their teeth. Davis was in Nevada at the time of the procedure that was purportedly completed in California. Bynum allegedly paid Williams $30,000 after conspiring with a chiropractor to submit a fraudulent claim that resulted in a $182,000 payment from the healthcare plan. A medical doctor was also convicted in the scheme.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams announced the players’ convictions on November 15 in a statement. He wrote that “no one is exempt from criminal charges if they engage in fraud.” Williams and other prosecutors working the case said that the players and the healthcare providers conspired and submitted phony invoices to the insurance plan, which resulted in reimbursement. Bynum’s lawyer also released a statement following his conviction of conspiring to make false statements, writing that he and Bynum were thankful that he was acquitted of the other charges. He hinted that Bynum may be seeking an appeal for the guilty charge.
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