Two former National Basketball Association players were convicted over their roles in a scheme to defraud a league healthcare plan, paying millions of dollars for bogus medical procedures, by a federal jury in Manhattan on Wednesday.
Glen Davis, 37, who featured for three NBA teams and clinched the title in 2008 with the Boston Celtics, was convicted on four counts including wire fraud, health care fraud, conspiring to commit fraud, and conspiring to make false statements.
The 40-year-old Will Bynum, who represented three teams including the Detroit Pistons, was found guilty of conspiring to make false statements, but acquitted on a fraud conspiracy charge.
The trial began on November 1.
"Despite notoriety or success in sports or any other field, no one is exempt from criminal charges if they engage in fraud,” Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement.
Davis’ lawyer Sabrina Shroff declined to comment.
Bynum's lawyer Victor Henderson said in a statement: "We are pleased that the jury acquitted Mr. Bynum of the first count and plan to explore all aspects relating to the second count."
At least two dozen people including 19 former NBA players, a dentist, a doctor and a chiropractor were implicated in the fraud scheme, with charges first announced in October 2021.
Prosecutors said at least $5 million of false claims were submitted, with the defendants receiving $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds and the ringleader, former NBA player Terrence Williams, getting kickbacks.
Examples of the alleged fraudulent medical procedures included Davis and another player receiving crowns on the same six teeth on the same day, and Davis receiving crowns on eight teeth in Beverly Hills though he was in Nevada.
Bynum, meanwhile, was accused of receiving about $182,000 on a fraudulent claim related to a chiropractic office in Encino, California, and paying Williams a $30,000 kickback.
Williams, who played with the New Jersey Nets and three other teams, pleaded guilty over his role last year. He was sentenced in August to 10 years in prison.
— Additional input from Reuters