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Former NBA player Terrence Williams pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud on Friday.
Williams, who played in the NBA for four seasons, was the ringleader of 18 players who were involved in a scheme to defraud the NBA’s health care plan out of more than $5 million.
Terrence WIlliams #1 of the New Jersey Nets drives against Stephen Jackson #1 of the Charlotte Bobcats on November 3, 2010 at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. (Lou Capozolla/NBAE via Getty Images)
According to the indictment, the players submitted fake invoices to the NBA’s health benefit plan for reimbursements.
“Williams led a scheme involving more than 18 former NBA players, a dentist, a doctor, and a chiropractor, to defraud the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan of millions of dollars,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams said in a statement. “Williams also impersonated others to help him take what was not his — money that belonged to the Plan.”
Terrence Williams #55 of the Sacramento Kings heads to the bench during a timeout in a game against the New Jersey Nets on March 31, 2012, at Power Balance Pavilion in Sacramento, California, (Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
Williams also created another email account to threaten a doctor who created fraudulent invoices for the former player. That account reached out to the NBA so the doctor could pay Williams. Authorities said Williams himself collected approximately $346,000 from the NBA.
Williams has agreed to pay restitution of $2.5 million, and pay a fine of over $650,000.
Williams’ sentencing is scheduled for next January. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.
Terrence Williams #1 of the New Jersey Nets drives against Yao Ming #11 of the Houston Rockets during the game on October 16, 2010, at the Guangzhou International Sports Arena in Guangzhou, China. (Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)
Other players involved in the scheme include Sebastian Telfair and Glen “Big Baby” Davis.