NEW YORK – Eighteen former NBA players, including East St. Louis high school graduate Darius Miles, have been charged with defrauding the league’s health and welfare benefit plan out of about $4 million, according to an indictment Thursday, the Associated Press, NBC News and The New York Times reported.
Federal prosecutors planned a news conference to describe the case that was brought in Manhattan federal court. It wasn’t immediately clear whether all those charged had been arrested.
The list of former players included Jamario Moon, Glen Davis and Sebastian Telfair.
According to the indictment, the ex-players engaged in a widespread scheme to defraud the plan by submitting false and fraudulent claims to get reimbursed for medical and dental expenses that were never actually incurred.
The 18 players were among 19 individuals charged in the indictment. It said that the scheme was carried out from at least 2017 to 2020, when the plan received false claims totaling about $3.9 million. Of that, the defendants received about $2.5 million in fraudulent proceeds.
The league’s major stars weren’t charged.
MIles, 39, was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers out of East St. Louis High School in 2000 with the third pick overall in the first round. He played in 446 games between 2000 and 2009 and averaged 10 points per game in a career that also included stops with Portland, Cleveland and Memphis. He missed two seasons due to injury.
He declared bankruptcy in 2019. In recent years, he has been the co-host of a basketball-themed podcast for the Players Tribune.