Ex-National Basketball Association forward Glen “Big Baby” Davis was found guilty of scheming to swindle the league’s health-care plan out of $5 million, one of the most high-profile players to be convicted in a wide-ranging plot that involved 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 that they never received. The two face as long as 20 years in prison on each count, though they’re likely to get much less time when sentenced.
More than a dozen former players were charged in October 2021 and many pleaded guilty. Terrence Williams, the 11th overall pick in the 2009 draft, was sentenced in August to 10 years in prison after admitting he orchestrated the scam from 2017 to 2021. Prosecutors said he recruited other ex-players, forged signatures, impersonated health-plan employees and enlisted doctors to create fake letters to justify procedures, receiving at least $300,000 in kickbacks.
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 spokesperson for the Manhattan US Attorney.
“While 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’s health care plan and net the defendants over $5 million in illicit profits,” Manhattan US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement. “Today’s conviction exemplifies that despite notoriety or success in sports or any other field, no one is exempt from criminal charges if they engage in fraud.”
Some of the more notable names caught up in the plot include Sebastian Telfair, a former New York City 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 yet to be sentenced.