When it comes to fraud, there is no shortage of areas or avenues. It may be from restaurants, banks, and other organizations and businesses that can quickly tarnish reputations once brought to light. One place where fraud has recently seen the light is through sports, specifically, through the players of the NBA. Indeed, misused health benefits were discovered, and many players have gotten in on the scheme.
According to reports, at least 18 players that we know of have been caught using the health coverage system of the National Basketball Association for less than honorable means. These 18 players decided to work in tandem with one another to submit false claims for medical and dental surgeries that weren’t happening and instead were pocketing the money that the league was giving to them.
The scheme was by no means a simple nickel and dime scam. Money was being made off through this carefully thought and intricate system. There was an instance where nearly $50,000 found its way in the pockets of these players through a fake dental appointment in Beverly Hills. The total amount the official numbers are around $4M. No small amount, but not all too surprising considering the number of players that were involved.
As mentioned before, 18 known players are said to be responsible for this scandal, but there is one name in particular that stands as the ringleader of it all: Terrence Williams. Terrance is the known ringleader and why he involved so many people in the scheme is simple. He had contacts to help him get reimbursed for dental and chiropractic care to receive thousands for his fraud. Williams involved other players such as Tony Allen in kickbacks to set them up to turn a higher profit. He would receive a portion of the ill-gotten money they received in return.
When it comes to the response by the NBA itself, it was very short and direct to the point, expressing disappointment over the fact that so many players were involved in this scandal. They also mentioned that they are willing to cooperate fully with the district attorney’s office to meet justice. Given how extensive the scandal was, it was unfortunate that even the assistant coach in Milt Palacio was involved and indicted once the news broke. What is very interesting about much of this scheme is that it featured former players who have been retired yet wanted to gain as much money from the system illegally as they could.
What makes this sad is that many players out there need and appreciate what the NBA’s health coverage system can provide to them, especially since many of them suffer from nagging injuries or issues that can wreak havoc on their bodies. There’s no doubt that this situation could incur changes on the current system to prevent another scandal like this from happening again.