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Milt Palacio among 18 ex-NBA players charged in the U.S. with health benefit fraud

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Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2021. 10:07 am CST.

By Aaron Humes: Former NBA player turned coach and former player and coach for the Belize National Basketball Team, Milton Palacio, is among 18 former players charged with defrauding a league-managed health benefit program, CNBC reports. The wife of one of the players was also charged.

They are accused, under indictment by the Southern District of New York, of defrauding the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of US$4 million by submitting false reimbursement claims from around 2017 to 2020 for medical and dental services that were not actually purchased.

The indictment said they received approximately US$2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.

Terrence Williams, selected 11th overall in the 2009 NBA draft by the then-New Jersey Nets, was named as the alleged ringleader of the scheme, according to the indictment file.

Williams allegedly recruited other NBA players to defraud the health care plan by offering fraudulent invoices in exchange for the payment of kickbacks to him.

Alan Anderson, a former Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Clippers player, Shannon Brown, who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony Allen, six-time NBA All-Defensive Team member are among others charged in the scheme.

Others accused include William Bynum, Ronald Glen Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, and Darius Miles, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Gregory Smith, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Antoine Wright, and Anthony Wroten.

Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen, is the only woman and non-NBA player charged in the indictment.

Neither the NBA nor the Southern District of New York immediately responded for comment to CNBC.

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