Mr John Wick

What Happened To The Players In The NBA Healthcare Fraud Trial?

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The daily grind of the NBA is tough on players. While severe injuries often get the most publicity, regular aches and pains can build up. These ongoing factors are part of why “load management” has become such a hot topic over the past decade, with players sitting out to rest and recover.

The NBA has a healthcare plan in part to help with these potentially nagging ailments. And back in October 2021, 18 players were charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, submitting nearly $5 million in false claims. Terrence Williams, the 11th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft, was also charged with aggravated identity theft for pretending to be an insurance plan manager.

Many of those players have received their punishments from the court. Here’s a look at how they’ve fared.

Glen Davis (L) and Tony Allen (Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Clippers drafted Darius Miles with the No. 3 pick, making Miles the highest draft pick straight out of high school at the time. He was later passed by guys like LeBron James and Dwight Howard, who were selected first overall in 2003 and 2005, respectively. Miles carved out a nine-year career in the NBA across four teams but never became a star. 

The 42-year-old Miles pleaded guilty in June and was facing between 21 and 27 months of jail time if convicted. Instead, Manhattan judge Valerie Caproni gave Miles three years of probation. Caproni said Miles’ recent charity work was a factor in her decision. Lawyers for Miles said his mother dying of cancer sent him into a depression that led to several “misguided decisions” after he declared bankruptcy in 2016.

Miles has used his post-playing career to focus on sports media ventures. He co-hosts the “Knuckleheads” podcast with former NBA player Quentin Richardson and aims to shine a light on mental health and financial difficulties for pro athletes, topics that aren’t as commonly discussed.   

Glen “Big Baby” Davis won a championship with the Boston Celtics in 2008, his rookie season. He played a total of nine years in the NBA for the Celtics, Orlando Magic, and Clippers. Will Bynum spent six of his eight NBA seasons with the Detroit Pistons, bookended by a season apiece with the Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards.

Both were convicted on various charges. Davis was found guilty on four charges: wire fraud, health care fraud, conspiring to commit fraud, and conspiring to make false statements. Bynum was only found guilty of conspiring to make false statements. 

“Today’s conviction exemplifies that despite notoriety or success in sports or any other field, no one is exempt from criminal charges if they engage in fraud,” said Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan who presided over the trial. 

Terrence Williams

Terrence Williams isn’t the most recognizable name among the players charged with fraud. He played just 153 NBA games over six seasons, bouncing around four teams and several international rosters, too. 

Yet Williams was the ringleader of this healthcare fraud ring. In addition to making fraudulent claims, Williams reviewed false documents and received a kickback from other players. If that money didn’t come, Williams impersonated a plan manager to convince the players to pay.

In August 2023, Williams was sentenced to ten years in prison. He’ll also be forced to return $650,000 and pay $2.5 million in restitution. This statement from Judge Caproni sums everything up:

“You were yet another player who frittered away substantial earnings from the period of time when you were playing basketball professionally. You should have had enough money to be set for life, but you don’t.”

Tony Allen also won a championship with the 2008 Celtics and had a long NBA career, playing from 2004 to 2018. He received his sentence in August after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and wire fraud. His wife was also named in the indictment.

Allen will avoid jail time after prosecutors acknowledged his acceptance of responsibility and desire to make up for what he did. He’ll receive three years probation and must perform community service.

Keyon Dooling

Keyon Dooling played 13 seasons in the NBA, appearing in more than 700 games and averaging 7 points per contest. After his playing days ended, he became a coach with the Utah Jazz. He also served as the first vice president of the National Basketball Players Association.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams presided over this case (as well as the one below and the one for Williams) and sentenced Dooling to 30 months in prison. Per an announcement from the Southern District of New York, Dooling participated in the scheme from at least 2017 to 2019 and received about $363,000 in fraudulent payments.

As part of his sentencing, Dooling will have to return $449,250.50 and pay a restitution of $547,495.  

In a statement, Williams said, “These former players recruited others to take part in this widespread fraud scheme and went to great lengths to keep the scheme running smoothly, facilitating hundreds of thousands of dollars of fraudulent claims.”

Alan Anderson

Alan Anderson had a bit of a unique NBA journey. He went undrafted in the 2005 NBA Draft, then played 53 games across two seasons for the then-Charlotte Bobcats. After that second season, Anderson spent four years overseas, playing for teams in Italy, Croatia, Israel, and Spain. He returned to the NBA for the 2011-12 season and played six more years in the league before retiring in 2018.

Anderson was sentenced at the same time as Dooling, receiving 24 months in prison. The Southern District of New York found Anderson submitted around $121,000 in fraudulent claims and encouraged others to submit forged letters and visit doctors to the tune of an additional $710,000.

As part of his sentencing, Anderson will have to forfeit $121,000 and pay an additional restitution of $121,000.

Shannon Brown, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Jamario Moon, Milt Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Tony Wroten

Perhaps the most notable name on this list is Shannon Brown, who appeared in the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest and won NBA titles with the Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010. Ruben Patterson was also sometimes referred to as a “Kobe Stopper” thanks to his defensive prowess against the Lakers guard.

All seven players in this section pled guilty but didn’t receive any jail time. The courts offered leniency in part because they didn’t bring other players into the scheme.

The 18 former players made a collective $343 million in on-court earnings over their careers. That number doesn’t factor in things like endorsement deals, overseas contracts, or other partnerships.

This story is yet another reminder that even when you’re making millions of dollars, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of spending more than you have. In the case of some of these players, it’s costing them dearly.



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