Former NBA star pleads responsible to bilking league’s medical insurance plan of $5 million


A onetime NBA all-star pleaded responsible Friday to serving because the linchpin in a sprawling scheme that bilked the league’s medical insurance plan out of $5 million.

Terrence Williams, 35, a first-round draft pick from Louisville, Ky., who spent six seasons within the NBA with the Nets, Houston Rockets, Sacramento Kings, and Boston Celtics, admitted to offering his teammates with pretend invoices to submit phony claims in change for enormous kickbacks between 2017 and 2021.

Williams is one among 18 former NBA gamers, together with Coney Island’s Sebastian Telfair, who prosecutors indicted in October for gathering the crooked payouts for medical and dental providers they by no means acquired.

The National Basketball Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan supplies providers to present and former gamers and their households.

“Williams led a scheme involving more than 18 former NBA players, a dentist, a doctor and a chiropractor to defraud the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan of millions of dollars. Williams also impersonated others to help him take what was not his — money that belonged to the Plan,” mentioned U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.

Williams, of Seattle, Wash., was remanded to the federal Bureau of Prisons’ custody whereas on pretrial launch in May after prosecutors accused him of threatening a witness within the case.

He allegedly emailed an unnamed witness to say they had been “talking way to[o] f—ing much” and warned them to “shut the f— up.” In one other missive, he mentioned, “me spitting in your face is exactly what you’ll see,” in line with federal authorities.

In pleading responsible to conspiracy to commit well being care and wire fraud and aggravated identification theft, the retired Boston Celtic admitted to receiving about $230,000 in kickbacks. Among these he recruited had been medical doctors in California and Washington, who despatched him their places of work’ medical invoices to fill out with lies.

The scheme Williams masterminded was unsophisticated, in line with the feds, with members usually placing little effort into making pretend paperwork look actual. Counterfeit medical doctors’ letters submitted to the NBA healthcare plan had been usually riddled with typos, introduced on pages with out letterhead, and had misspelled names.

In different slipups, gamers billed for providers in states during times the NBA knew they hadn’t traveled.

Williams is the sixth individual charged within the indictment to achieve a plea take care of prosecutors. The Justice Department charged everybody however him with one rely of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. Telfair, of Brooklyn, maintains his innocence together with two others.

Prosecutors charged three others — William Washington, Keyon Dooling and Aamir Wahab — a physician, a basketball guard and a dentist, respectively, in a superseding indictment in April.

Williams is due in court docket for his sentencing on Jan. 25 and faces as much as 20 years on the highest rely. His plea settlement additionally requires he pay the NBA healthcare plan $2.5 million and forfeit greater than $653,000 to the federal government. His lawyer David Stern didn’t instantly return a name looking for remark.

Two NBA representatives didn’t instantly reply to requests for remark.



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