As per NBC news correspondent Tom Winter, 18 former NBA players have been arrested and charged federally for defrauding the NBA's health and welfare benefit plan out of approximately $400,000,000. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski later confirmed the report and revealed that some of the former NBA players who have been charged are Tony Allen, Glen Baby Davis, and Darius Miles.
This is one of the biggest cases of fraud to have come out of the NBA in recent years. The players are expected to be further charged with more counts of fraud impending investigation.
Most of these players have played in the 'Big 3' League, and fans and NBA insiders are wondering if there could be a mutual connection.
There are multiple players with ties to the Boston Celtics in this case - Terrence Williams, Will Bynum, Darius Miles, Milt Palacio and Sebastian Telfair.
Recently, an ex-NBA player named Randolph Morris was acquitted of wire fraud and making false statements about his wired transactions.
NBA players and officials have been involved in tax fraud multiple times in history
One of the biggest tax fraud scandals in NBA history was Operation Slam Dunk in 1994. The untaxed income of at least 43 NBA referees, with downgraded first-class or full-fare coach plane tickets (paid for by the NBA) and the difference being pocketed by the referees without reporting that income on their tax returns.
12 referees were acquitted in the trial, with only Steve Javie appealing.
The ongoing tax fraud situation is sure to cause a major stir, and it will be intriguing to see what the current NBA commissioner Adam Silver has to say about it. Stars like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant will also certainly be asked about it, and it is sure to go down in NBA history as a major black spot.
According to a 32-page federal court filing, the defendants “engaged in a widespread scheme to defraud the plan by submitting false and fraudulent claims” for non-existent medical and dental services. The phony billings totaled $3.9 million, with the defendants collecting $2.5 million, prosecutors charged.
The NBA has crafted its image quite carefully in the last two decades, and there have only been rare instances that have brought shame to the league. The scam has only been unearthed on the surface as of now, and it could hold major implications for the league once the complete investigation is finished.