Former National Basketball Association forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis was convicted of plotting to defraud the league’s health plan of $5 million, one of the highest-profile players to having been convicted in a massive conspiracy involving a number of former top draft picks.
A jury found Davis, who won a title with the Boston Celtics in 2008, and former NBA player William Bynum, guilty of conspiracy charges Wednesday after a two-week trial. Prosecutors said they made false claims for medical and dental procedures they never received. Both men face up to 20 years in prison on each charge, although they face a much shorter sentence once convicted.
More than a dozen former players were indicted in October 2021 and many have pleaded guilty. Terrence Williams, 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft, has been condemned in August to 10 years in prison after admitting to orchestrating the scam from 2017 to 2021. Prosecutors said he recruited other former players, forged signatures, impersonated health plan employees and enlisted doctors to create fake letters to justify the procedures, receiving at least $300,000. in bribes.
The jury found Davis guilty of all four conspiracy and substantive counts against him and found Bynum guilty of conspiracy to submit false statements to a health care plan, but not guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, said Nicholas Biase, a spokesman. for the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan.
“Although many of the more than 20 defendants convicted in this case were well-known NBA stars, their conduct was otherwise a typical fraudulent scheme designed to defraud the NBA health care plan and net defendants more than $5 million in illicit profits,” Manhattan US attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “Today’s conviction illustrates the fact that despite notoriety or success in sport or any other field, no one is immune from criminal prosecution if they engage in fraud.”
Some of the more notable names involved in the plot include Sebastian Telfair, a former New York streetball legend chosen in the first round of the 2004 NBA draft, and Darius Miles, the third overall pick in the 2000 draft, both of whom pleaded guilty earlier this year and have not yet been sentenced.