Former NBA player orchestrated $5M health insurance fraud

Former NBA player Terrence Williams, the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, pleaded guilty to healthcare and wire fraud conspiracy charges and aggravated identity theft, the Justice Department said Aug. 26.

Mr. Williams, 35, orchestrated a scheme to defraud the NBA Players' Health and Welfare Benefit Plan, the Justice Department said. The scheme involved more than 18 former NBA players, a dentist, a physician and a chiropractor.

The benefit plan provides coverage for eligible active and former NBA players and their family members. From at least 2017 through at least 2021, Mr. Williams and others submitted $5 million in claims for reimbursement for medical and dental services that were never rendered, the Justice Department said.

Mr. Williams recruited others into the scheme by offering to give them false invoices to support the claims, the Justice Department said. He was paid at least $300,000 in kickbacks.

He impersonated employees of the health plan's administrative manager and blackmailed a physician co-defendant into paying him about $346,000, the Justice Department said. While on pretrial release, Mr. Williams texted threats to a witness.

He faces a possible maximum prison sentence of 20 years for the healthcare and wire fraud charges, and a mandatory minimum sentence of two years for the aggravated identity theft. As part of his guilty plea, Mr. Williams agreed to pay $2,500,000 in restitution to the health plan, and to forfeit $653,672 to the federal government.

His sentencing is set for January 25, the Justice Department said.

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