Five former players of the Boston Celtics were listed among nearly two dozen ex-NBA players arrested and charged on October 7 after an alleged multi-million-dollar health insurance fraud scheme.
Manhattan federal prosecutors indicted Terrence Williams, Glen Davis, Tony Allen, Milt Palacio, and Sebastian Telfair as well as 13 other ex-league players for allegedly engaging in a health insurance scheme.
Former National Basketball Association players allegedly defrauded the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan of nearly $4 million by submitting fictitious reimbursement claims for medical and dental expenses.
The defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft. The charges could lead to up to 20 years in prison.
How Did Ex-Players Defraud The Supplemental Coverage Plan?
According to an indictment, the alleged conspiracy leader was Terrence Williams, who later recruited other ex-NBA players to defraud the plan funded mostly by NBA teams. He also offered to provide fake invoices for medical and dental procedures to the players in exchange for kickback payments.
The defendants allegedly carried out the scheme from at least 2017 up to around 2020. Over the three-year period, the false claims reached about $3.9 million, from which the ex-players allegedly got about $2.5 million reimbursed in fraudulent proceeds each player making from $65,000 to $420,000.
Attorney for the Southern District of New York Audrey Strauss told at a press conference that prosecutors had enough data proving that many times the defendants were far from the medical offices, sometimes even abroad, when they were supposedly getting the treatment.
Why Is The Ex-Nba Health Care Fraud Case Important?
The former NBA players’ alleged health insurance fraud scheme came just a few weeks after former NFL players Clinton Portis, Tamarick Vanover, and Robert McCune pleaded guilty to a nationwide health care fraud scheme.
U.S. Department of Justice announced on September 8 that all three ex-NFL players admitted engaging in defrauding Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan (“HRA Plan”) instituted to reimburse medical expenses for retired players and their families.
Both recent cases are just the two examples showing the prosecutor’s commitment to combating health care fraud. The head of New York’s FBI office Michael J. Driscoll said the ex-NBA alleged health insurance fraud case demonstrated the FBI’s continued focus on uncovering fraud scams that cost the healthcare industry tens of billions of dollars a year.
What Do Whistleblower Lawyers Say About Health Care Fraud Scams?
Whistleblower lawyers believe fraud poses a major challenge to the United States health care system. U.S. Department of Justice reported a $2.6 billion-dollar loss attributed to healthcare fraud and abuse in the fiscal year 2019 alone.
If you have become aware of a fraud or abuse scheme, you may be able to act as a whistleblower. The whistleblower attorney Arvind Bob Khurana helps people to build a strong case that will help them receive a reward for aiding the government to fight against fraud. Contact us today for a consultation. For a free, confidential evaluation call (888) 335-5107