On the bright side, perhaps there is a market for a reality tv show where NBA retirees who lack impulse control follow a mediocre former player (Terrence Williams) into a scheme they think will monetize a lifestyle that has dried up since they retired, only to be greeted by the feds who show off some stunning silver bracelets…er handcuffs. The reality show could be called Dumb, Dumber, and Dumbest. Or, WTF?
For clarification’s sake, presenting invoices for fake health conditions/treatments in order to get reimbursed isn’t original. It’s called health care fraud and goes something like this. Said stupid criminal submits multiple claims for the same service. Or, they bill for a service they never received. Or, they impersonate a medical provider.
Compared to the big gets of 2020, the NBA 18 pulled in a relatively small haul, $4 million from the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit plan. Compare that to a group of 10 who in 2020 defrauded the health care system of $1.4 billion. It makes me think that the NBA crew were thinking small and considering how many of their careers were mediocre, it makes perfect sense, to nickel and dime the NBA health care system the way they nickel and dimed their careers.
Nevertheless, federal prosecutions don’t believe in mercy, big gets or small, and because the 18 former NBA players in the indictment have a certain social value because of their previous profession, there is little incentive for deal-making. In addition, parole doesn’t exist in the federal system. Thank Congress for that. Under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 parole was eliminated and in its place is “supervised release” which takes place after the sentence is complete.
What’s really pathetic about the entire scheme once you ferret out following Terrence Williams whose career was more hype than substance is the NBA 18 reinforced a stereotype about black athletes. It goes something like this. If not for sports, they’d be in jail. The NBA 18 were the lucky of the lucky, privileged enough to have a sports career, and yet they still may end up in jail.
The NBA 18 were allegedly caught because of grammatical errors on their fake paperwork. Need I say reading is fundamental. And the dates were duplicated. The invoices were not on letterhead. This is a bad Jim Carrey movie particularly when you consider that none of these players had ever worked an office job so they were guessing as they go.
That the ring leader is Terrence Williams is pure comedy. Like he could pull this off long-term. Terrence Williams was a player who thought he was a superstar when he was really just holding up the boat with both hands while trying not to drown. He was a lottery pick of the Nets, a former player of Rick Pitino but always felt entitled. A year after he was drafted, he was traded. Probably because he couldn’t shoot. He went around the league and then overseas for a 3-year career. Of the 2009 lottery picks, he played the second-fewest years in the league, beat only by the dismal career of Jonny Flynn. Williams was a bust. So um, why was he someone to follow?
On the bright side 2: The U.S. Attorney’s are giving Terrence Wiliams props that the NBA never did. They are giving him the headline. The case is titled “U.S. vs Terrence Williams et al.” Finally, Williams is the superstar albeit in this laughable B movie scheme which will be the butt of jokes for years. Particularly how, according to the indictment, Williams actually impersonated a claim processor to intimidate a player who wouldn’t give him his kickback. [LMAO].
Williams will get the harshest sentence and we’ll see if there is a Charles Cashmore, Charles “Charlie” Ehrlich, Michael McClinton and/or Walter Alexander among the other 17. Those were the four that testified against O.J. in his Las Vegas trial and received probation. But this is a federal crime so I doubt anyone escapes jail.
Consider the mother of 2021 Olympian gymnast Jordan Chiles. Gina Chiles defrauded clients in a wire fraud case and admitted to stealing and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on personal expenditures. She was sentenced to one year in jail.
Here are the notable retired-NBA Brain Surgeons
Sebastian Telfair. Of course. But Telfair has a bigger issue if that’s possible. Telfair was sentenced to three years probation for gun possession. And then, because he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, he was arrested for gun possession again when he had four guns on him and a bulletproof vest. My father used to say. A Wise Man learns from other people’s mistakes. An average man learns from his own mistake. A Fool never learns.
Darius Miles. Ditto Of course.
Ruben Patterson. Do you see a theme here? Of course.
Glen Davis. Suddenly, the Big Baby nickname fits and Glen Davis in prison is a comedy HBO is waiting for.
Shannon Brown. What? The former Laker? The Lakers might have two former players in prison. Brown and Javaris Crittendon who is doing time for murder.
Chris Douglas-Roberts. CDR? Derrick Rose’s Memphis teammate lacked the foot speed to make it in the NBA other than a journeyman. But he was a likable player.
Tony Allen. This is so disappointing. Fellow Chicagoan. Great defender. I still remember him guarding Kevin Durant in the playoffs and winning.
Outside of Terrence Williams, the defense will be something like I was desperate, or I didn’t know I did anything wrong, or I’m sorry, or I have Covid Brain, or They jacked me up so why the f*** not?
This is why not. Health care fraud hurts the innocent. It’s one thing to steal pens and pencils from your workplace and quite another to dip into the pool that families use for their autistic children and COVID sick, and asthmatics, not to mention the host of injuries NBA players deal with once the game is over. The NBA 18 are hurting themselves, their families, and the host of retired and active players who depend on health coverage. To them, they succinctly said f*** you. I need to get mine.
As early as yesterday, I thought the Illinois woman who tried to use a fake vaccination card but spelled Moderna wrong was the stupidest person of the year but I reserve the right to change my mind. NBA 18 you get the prize.
If there is a silver lining, it is this. We’re not talking Kyrie Irving. Or Ben Simmons. At least for a day. So thank you Terrence Williams. Good night and good luck.