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Ex-NBA player pleads guilty

NEW YORK (AFP) — Former National Basketball Association player Terrence Williams has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a scheme that defrauded the league’s health insurance plan of more than $5 million, New York prosecutors announced Friday.

Williams, who played for the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets, was one of 18 ex-NBA players charged in the elaborate fraud in October last year.

Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York say he conspired with others to submit fraudulent claims to the NBA’s health and welfare benefit plan for medical and dental services that were not carried out.

In exchange, Williams received kickbacks totaling at least $300,000, according to investigators.

The 35-year-old pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud, which carries a maximum term of twenty years in prison, the SDNY said in a statement.

He also admitted to one count of aggravated identity theft, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison.

As part of his guilty plea, Williams agreed to pay restitution of $2.5 million to the NBA’s plan.

He is due to be sentenced on 25 January next year.

Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who was part of the Boston Celtics team that won the 2008 NBA Championship, and Tony Allen — a six-time NBA All-Defensive Team member — were also charged in the scheme that allegedly ran from at least 2017 to 2020.

Other players charged include former Los Angeles Lakers guard Shannon Brown, Sebastian Telfair, who played for several NBA teams including the Cleveland Cavaliers, and ex-Los Angeles Clippers pick Darius Miles.

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