Antoine Wright

18 Former NBA Players Charged For Allegedly Defrauding League’s Benefit Plan

Eighteen former NBA players face charges in New York federal court over allegations that they defrauded the NBA’s health and welfare benefit plan, according to a report from Jonathan Dienst and Tom Winter of NBC. The players each face a count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud.

As Dienst and Winter outline, the indictment alleges that these players engaged in a scheme from 2017-20 to defraud the NBA’s benefit plan by submitting false claims for dental and medical expenses that were never incurred. According to the indictment, the fraudulent claims totaled about $3.9MM, and the defendants received approximately $2.5MM in proceeds.

While none of the players who have been charged were household names, many won titles and/or had long NBA careers, and most will likely be recognizable to Hoops Rumors readers. They are as follows:

  1. Tony Allen
  2. Alan Anderson
  3. Shannon Brown
  4. Will Bynum
  5. Glen Davis
  6. Chris Douglas-Roberts
  7. Melvin Ely
  8. Darius Miles
  9. Jamario Moon
  10. Milt Palacio
  11. Ruben Patterson
  12. Eddie Robinson
  13. Greg Smith
  14. Sebastian Telfair
  15. C.J. Watson
  16. Terrence Williams
  17. Antoine Wright
  18. Tony Wroten

Williams was named in the indictment as the one who orchestrated the scheme, according to Dienst and Winter, who say the former lottery pick is accused of having recruited other participants by offering them fake invoices. He allegedly received payments totaling $230K in exchange for those fake documents, per NBC’s report.

Allen’s wife, Desiree Allen, was also charged in the indictment. As John Hollinger of The Athletic tweets, the Grizzlies had been planning to retire Allen’s number in January — they may decide to postpone their ceremony honoring the six-time All-Defensive swingman.

Free Agent Updates: Barron, Balkman, Wright

As free agents continue to land on NBA training camp rosters or with international teams in advance of the coming season, let's round up a few of today's items on new signings and players still on the market….

  • Free agent big man Earl Barron has signed with China's Qingdao DoubleStar, agent Derrick Powell tells Jorge Sierra of HoopsHype (Twitter link). Barron reportedly drew interest from the Pelicans, Sixers, Pacers, and Jazz, and had been hoping to sign with the Knicks. However, New York decision-makers were said to be split on whether or not to add the former Memphis Tiger.
  • Ex-Knick Renaldo Balkman is considering accepting a training camp invite from the Mavericks, according to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News. The Mavs, who have one open roster spot left for camp, are hoping to bring in "active defensive-minded bodies" to fill out their preseason roster, says Sefko.
  • Former first round pick Antoine Wright is set to sign with a club in Poland, according to a report passed along by Emiliano Carchia of Sportando. Wright played in the D-League last season and most recently appeared in the NBA in 2010/11.
  • Shams Charania of spoke to former Clippers forward Bobby Simmons, who says he's still aiming to make an NBA comeback. As our international player movement tracker shows, Simmons didn't play in the NBA or anywhere else last season.

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International Notes: Wright, Aminu

Yesterday, it was reported that Heat big man Jarvis Varnado is nearing agreement with Italian club Sidigas Avellino.  Varnado has a non-guaranteed deal with the Heat for 2013/14 and if the club only carries 13 players, he won't have a spot on the roster.   Here's today's news from around the globe..

  • Former NBA player Antoine Wright has been looking to make an NBA comeback, but he'll instead join Israel's Gilboa Galil, a source tells RealGM's Shams Charania (via Twitter).  Back in April, the former No. 15 overall pick hooked on with Venezuelan club Gualqueries de Margarita.  The 28-year-old also had a stint in the D-League to attract attention from the Association.
  • Raptors summer league forward Alade Aminu has reached agreement on a one-year deal to return to Pinar Karsiyaka of the Eurocup league, a source told Charania.  Aminu, the older brother of Al-Farouq Aminu, played with the Turkish club last season and was also pursued by clubs in Spain, Italy and China.  The 25-year-old is not expected to accept summer league invitations next year.

Minor Moves: Eyenga, Joseph, Wright

We'll track the latest notable international and D-League-related transactions right here, with the newest up top:

  • Christian Eyenga practiced with the Lakers today and is expected to play tomorrow in Sacramento, tweets Mike Trudell of Eyenga, who was acquired along with Ramon Sessions at the trade deadline, had been playing with the D-League's D-Fenders since the deal, but persumably has now been recalled.
  • The Spurs have recalled Cory Joseph from their D-League affiliate, the Austin Toros, the Spurs announced today. Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News first tweeted that the move was expected, noting that it wouldn't bode well for the Toros in the D-League Finals. As our log of D-League assignments and recalls shows, Joseph has been optioned to Austin three times this season, so he won't be able to rejoin the Toros again for the end of their season.
  • Former 15th-overall pick Antoine Wright has signed with Venezuelan team Guaiqueries de Margarita, the team announced (hat tip to Sportando). Wright, 28, had joined the D-League earlier this season in hopes of making it back to the NBA.

Minor Moves: Songaila, Wright, Graham, Williams

We'll keep tabs on the day's notable international or D-League-related transactions here:

  • Darius Songaila, an eight-year NBA veteran who played 10 games for the 76ers last season, has signed with Spanish team CB Valladolid, tweets Sportando.
  • Former NBA players Antoine Wright and Stephen Graham have joined D-League teams, according to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter). Wright will play for Reno while Graham is heading to Fort Wayne.
  • The Mavericks have re-assigned Sean Williams to their D-League affiliate, according to Tim MacMahon of ESPN Dallas. Williams had been recalled from the Texas Legends earlier this month.

Minor Moves: Lee, Joseph, Wright

We'll keep tabs on today's international and D-League-related transactions of note here:

  • Malcolm Lee has been recalled from Sioux Falls by the Timberwolves, tweets Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune. Lee, who has yet to make his NBA debut, was assigned to Minnesota's D-League affiliate for the second time last Wednesday.
  • The Spurs have recalled Cory Joseph from their D-League affiliate in Austin, tweets Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News. Joseph, who was assigned to the Toros less than a week ago, returns to San Antonio following T.J. Ford's neck injury.
  • Former NBA veteran Antoine Wright has joined the D-League in hopes of returning to the NBA, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Wright, a 15th overall pick in 2005, played for the Nets, Mavericks, Raptors, and Kings, last appearing in the NBA in November 2010. The 28-year-old averaged 5.4 PPG in 297 career games.