The former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Terrence Williams was handed a 10-year prison sentence for orchestrating a brazen fraud scheme that involved at least 19 players. The elaborate plan aimed to deceive the league’s health plan into disbursing millions of dollars for fictitious medical procedures, as disclosed by federal prosecutors.
Former NBA Star Terrence Williams Gets 10 Years in Prison
The individual in question is Terrence Williams, aged 36, who had previously played for the New Jersey Nets and three other NBA teams between 2009 and 2013.
According to the U.S. News, Terrence Williams had already pleaded guilty in August of the previous year to charges of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, along with aggravated identity theft.
The sentencing was delivered by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni, in the Manhattan federal court. In addition to the 10-year prison term, Terrence Williams was ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution to the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan, and he had to forfeit $653,673, as agreed upon in his plea arrangement.
Born and raised in Seattle, Terrence Williams had been residing there until his arrest in October 2021. Following the arrest, he has been detained in Brooklyn since May 2022, following accusations of threatening a witness through text messages.
As the case unfolded, lawyers representing Terrence Williams did not provide an immediate response to requests for comments. During the sentencing phase, prosecutors sought a prison term of 10 to 12 years, while Williams aimed for a maximum sentence of 50 months.
Role of Terrence Williams in the Health Fraud
The core of the allegations against Terrence Williams revolves around his role in recruiting players to submit falsified invoices for medical and dental services that were never actually performed. In return for their involvement, players were promised kickbacks amounting to at least $300,000.
Furthermore, Terrence Williams was accused of impersonating a health plan manager to intimidate another player, who had not paid the agreed kickback, into cooperating with the scheme once more.
Prosecutors asserted that false claims totaling $5 million were submitted, leading to the defendants receiving $2.5 million in ill-gotten gains. Among the questionable cases highlighted was one that purportedly showed former Boston Celtics player Tony Allen and another player getting crowns for six teeth on the same day.
According to prosecutors, Terrence Williams played a pivotal role as the ringleader of the conspiracy, effectively propelling the scheme forward.
Over half of the 24 individuals charged in connection with this investigation have already pleaded guilty, as indicated in court records. Notably, the defendants include a dentist, a doctor, and a chiropractor.