Retired NBA shooting guard Tony Allen, one of 18 former…

1 year ago via Law360
Retired NBA shooting guard Tony Allen, one of 18 former players charged with defrauding the league’s health care plan through fake medical treatments, pled not guilty Tuesday and said through a lawyer he will “prepare his defense. “The former NBA All-Defensive Team member was among the most prominent defendants charged last Thursday with a $4 million benefits fraud scheme allegedly masterminded by former Boston Celtic Terrence Williams.

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Their greed tainted the spirit of the health-care plan, which the league and its players backed with pure intentions. On Thursday, when Chenier read a news story about the charges, he was astonished. “Wow,” he said in reaction. “It’s kind of disappointing because this was a plan we were all excited about.” Since he signed up for the premium health coverage, Chenier said he doesn’t remember receiving one significant medical bill in the mail in four years. Now Chenier wonders whether the deeds of a few bad actors in the younger generation will impact the benefits for the old-timers.
Notably, these eighteen retired players aren’t part of the NBARPA, but they benefit from the insurance that the current NBA Players Association fought for. Some of these guys were fringe NBA players, but there are a few notable names such as Davis, who was part of the championship Celtics team. Haywood called out Davis in particular, saying that: “Some of the names I was saddened to hear, like Glen Davis, I was like wait a minute, I didn’t think he was that kind of a person. He’s made, what, $40 million in salary? What are you doing man?”
Spencer Haywood, an NBA Hall of Fame inductee and chairman of the NBA Retired Players Association (NBARPA), spoke out against these former players. In an interview with the Boston Globe, Haywood talks about being “heartbroken” as this scandal likely undid years of work fighting for retired players’ rights. “What I was fighting for is we had no health insurance as retired players,” Haywood said. “Chris Paul and LeBron James and all those guys came up with a plan to come up with insurance for all of us. And what these guys [the alleged scammers] have done is taken advantage of that health insurance we worked so far for. And it’s blackened all of our eyes.”
As chairman of the National Basketball Retired Players Association, Spencer Haywood fought for full health care for retired players, especially those aging greats from the 1970s who missed the NBA’s salary boon and were struggling for medical attention. That happened in 2016, when the NBA Players Association agreed that current players would contribute to a fund that would provide medical benefits for players with at least three years of service time. Haywood was horrified this week when federal prosecutors charged 18 former NBA players with defrauding the league’s health care system of more than $4 million with the ringleader being former lottery pick and Celtics player Terrence Williams.
Haywood, 72, was heartbroken, realizing how much work was required to encourage the NBPA to agree to fund a full health care package. “What I was fighting for is we had no health insurance as retired players,” Haywood said. “Chris Paul and LeBron James and all those guys came up with a plan to come up with insurance for all of us. And what these guys [the alleged scammers] have done is taken advantage of that health insurance we worked so far for. And it’s blackened all of our eyes.”
“I get stopped now and people asking about it and I’ve talked to some former players asking, ‘what is it going to do to us?’ ” Haywood said. “So it’s up in the air. It’s just sad, man. Some of the names I was saddened to hear, like Glen Davis, I was like wait a minute, I didn’t think he was that kind of a person. He’s made, what, $40 million in salary? What are you doing man? It hurts because all of these young guys, instead of working with the players’ union and trying to make it better, they’re trying to take away from it and all of these people’s reputations. Julius Erving is under this program, all of us are. People put it on the line so we can have a great league and on the 75th anniversary [of the NBA], this is what we’ve got?”
Drew Hill: It has been ordered that the initial status conference in the NBA Healthcare fraud case will be held after Oct. 25 in New York City. The government must provide seven groupings of defendants by Oct. 15 because of COVID restrictions. Five groups of 3 and 2 groups of 2.
Sebastian Telfair, Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Darius Miles were among those charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud as part of what prosecutors called a "widespread scheme to defraud" the NBA health care benefit plan.
Storyline: Former Players Fraud Case
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