Most former professional athletes that need a side hustle after their playing days are over try to do something that’s at least legal. 

That wasn’t the strategy for a group of 18 former NBA players who were charged in federal court with an alleged health insurance and fraud scheme. 

This one’s a doozy.  The former players, along with one of the former players’ wife, all face a count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud.  One of them is also hit with a charge of aggravated identity theft. 

Here’s how it allegedly went down. Terrence Williams, the one accused of being the ring leader of the group, allegedly “recruited other plan participants to defraud the plan by offering to supply them with false invoices to support their false and fraudulent claims to the plan in exchange for kickbacks to Williams.”

According to the Feds, Williams started submitting fraudulent claims for chiropractic and dental care back in November of 2017.  He allegedly used fake invoices from a chiropractor’s office in California, and then got the other players to do the same thing with that chiropractor’s office and a couple dental offices, along with one wellness office. 

Officials said no services were ever given, but a whole lot of money was paid out. 

Here are the ex-players charged. 

Alan Anderson, Tony Allen, Shannon Brown, Will Bynum, Glen Davis, Chris Douglas-Roberts, Melvin Ely, Jamario Moon, Darius Miles, Milt Palacio, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Greg Smith, Sebastian Telfair, C.J. Watson, Terrence Williams, Antoine Wright and Tony Wroten. Allen’s wife Desiree was also charged. 

Almost $4 million in false claims were submitted, and the defendants received roughly $2.5 million of the fraudulent proceeds. 

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