Throughout the years, NBA players have fought with bones and nails for their rights. They've engaged in lockouts, discussions, and have even decided to sit out when they don't think they're being treated well or that basketball isn't a priority.
That's why it's such a shame to see that some players don't seem to value that. Yesterday, the FBI arrested and federally charged as many as 18 former NBA players for defrauding nearly $4,000,000 from the league's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.
According to the investigation, former New Jersey (Brooklyn) Nets player Terrence Williams was the one who orchestrated this fraud scheme, bringing several of his former teammates along with him:
NBA Fraud: Former Nets Player Terrence Williams Was The Mastermind Behind The Scheme
(Transcript via NBC New York)
"Williams allegedly orchestrated the years-long scheme and recruited other NBA health plan participants to assist by offering them fake invoices to support their claims. He allegedly received at least $230,000 in kickback payments from 10 other players in return for providing the alleged false documentation.
The 34-year-old Williams also allegedly helped three co-defendants -- Davis, Charles Watson Jr. and Antoine Wright -- obtain fake letters of medical necessity to justify some of the services on which the false invoices were based.
Williams also allegedly impersonated an individual who processed plan claims at one point in furtherance of his alleged scheme.
Among the false reimbursement claims described in the indictment is a $19,000 claim that Williams filed for chiropractic services he allegedly never had and for which he received $7,672.55 in reimbursement. Williams also allegedly obtained a template for a fake invoice designed to appear as if it had been issued by the office.
Williams is accused of emailing those fake invoices to the other defendants named in the indictment. He and defendant Alan Anderson, who briefly played for the Nets from 2013 to 2015, allegedly helped get fake letters of medical necessity for Davis, Watson Jr. and Wright in furtherance of the fraud scheme as well.
According to the court documents, several of the fake invoices and medical necessity forms stood out because, “they are not on letterhead, they contain unusual formatting, they have grammatical errors” and were sent on the same dates from different offices."
It's a shame to see this kind of behavior, especially from people who made hundreds of thousands -- or even millions of dollars during their playing days. Now, the system will decide what to do with them.