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Ex-Nets player Terrence Williams sentenced to 10 years in prison for health care fraud

Former New Jersey Nets player Terrence Williams was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for masterminding a scheme to steal $5 million from the National Basketball Association’s health care plan.

Williams, 36, admitted in August 2022 to orchestrating the conspiracy, in which he roped in 18 former ballers to defraud the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan that provides extra coverage to former and retired players.

In addition to the hefty prison time handed down by Manhattan federal Judge Valerie Caproni, the former Nets shooting guard must also pay more than $3.1 million in restitution and forfeitures.

From 2017 through 2021, Williams and the co-defendants — who also include doctors and a dentist — allegedly submitted bogus invoices, replete with typos and inconsistencies, to the health care plan for reimbursement of medical and dental expenses for care that never occurred, prosecutors said.

William, of Seattle, Washington, recruited other hoopsters and retired players into making fraudulent medical claims by offering to give them fake invoices — which he’d gotten from the crooked health care providers, prosecutors said.

In exchange for coordinating the scam, Williams received $346,000 in kickbacks, the feds said.

Williams impersonated employees from the insurance company to email co-defendants and scare them into keeping up the scheme and sending him more kickbacks, the feds alleged.

For instance, Williams told one co-defendant to pay him a “fine” or risk being reported for the fraudulent invoices, prosecutors claimed.

And after Williams was arrested and allowed to remain free without bail in October 2021, he sent threatening text messages to a witness telling them they were “talking way to[o] f–king much” and demanding that they “shut the f–k up,” the feds alleged.

Following the threat, Caproni jailed Williams without bail.

Manhattan US Attorney Damiam Williams called the ex-pro basketball player’s actions “brazen.”

“Williams led a wide-ranging scheme to steal millions of dollars from the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan,” the US attorney said.

“Williams recruited medical professionals and others to expand his criminal conspiracy and maximize his ill-gotten gains,” the prosecutor said. “Williams not only lined his pockets through fraud and deceit, but he also stole the identities of others and threatened a witness to further his criminal endeavors.”

“Williams led a wide-ranging scheme to steal millions of dollars from the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan,” the US attorney said.

Another player allegedly involved in the scheme was Coney Island-raised Sebastian Telfair. The players’ combined earnings during their time in the NBA was $360 million.

Williams’ criminal defense attorney didn’t return a request for comment Thursday.

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