Seth Udinski, FISM News
According to reports from ESPN, 18 former NBA players and one other person were arrested Thursday for an alleged fraud scam in which they took advantage of the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan. Reports indicate the players committed fraud amounting to $4 million.
Among those arrested were: Terrence Williams, Alan Anderson, Anthony Allen, Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Glen “Big Baby” Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milton Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright, and Anthony Wroten. Additionally, Desiree Allen, wife of Anthony Allen, was also included in the arrest.
Many of these players were average at best in their careers, although Glen Davis made a name for himself in the post and won an NBA Finals championship with the Boston Celtics. One of the cases of fraud involved Gregory Smith, who claimed he was receiving a root canal in late 2018 and needed reimbursement funds for it. An investigation into the claim revealed that he was playing professional basketball in Taiwan at the time and never received the procedure. Audrey Strauss, a lawyer involved in the case, said,
Travel records, e-mail and publicly available box scores showed that he was playing professional basketball in Taiwan that week and did not receive root canals in Beverly Hills as represented in the claim form he submitted.
The players reportedly received a total of $2.5 million in illegitimate reimbursement funds before they were caught. According to Strauss, Terrence Williams, a veteran of the league from 2009-2013, served as the ringleader in the operation, making sure the claims appeared legitimate before they were submitted for processing.