Ex-NBA player Davis sentenced in fraud scheme

by 24USATVMay 10, 2024, 2:01 a.m. 21
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Former NBA forward Glen Davis will serve 40 months in prison for an alleged scheme to defraud the league's health care benefits plan. (0:24)

NEW YORK -- Former NBA forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis was sentenced by a federal judge Thursday to 40 months in prison, plus three years' supervised release, for his November 2023 conviction in an alleged scheme to defraud the league's health care benefits plan.

Twenty-two people -- 18 of them former players, including Terrence Williams and Keyon Dooling -- have been sentenced in the case for filing false medical claims with the NBA Players' Health and Benefit Welfare Plan.

Davis, 38, who has maintained his innocence since indictments in the case were handed down in October 2021, was found guilty of multiple fraud charges and conspiring to make false statements. He was ordered to pay $80,000 in restitution. The conditions of his supervised release include attending a financial management class and receiving mandatory drug treatment.

Williams, the supposed ringleader of what the Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney's Office has described as a "wide-ranging scheme to steal millions of dollars," was sentenced to 10 years last August.

But aside from Williams, no former NBA player has received more prison time than Davis. Last month, former NBA guard Will Bynum, who was convicted alongside Davis in November, was sentenced to 18 months, in part for lying to a jury while under oath.

Davis' defense attorney, Sabrina Shroff, declined comment. The press office of the Southern District of New York also declined comment.

In court, assistant U.S. attorney Ryan Finkel characterized Davis as having allegedly executed a "sophisticated and intelligent effort" to mask his misdeeds.

A raft of pre-sentencing documents submitted to the court on Davis' behalf included letters of testimony from family, former coaches and multiple officials with the NBA players' union: NBPA general counsel Ron Klempner and executive director Andre Iguodala.

"On behalf of all of our NBPA members past and present, I respectfully ask that you consider Glen's accomplishments and the positive impact he has had on those around him when determining his sentence," Iguodala wrote in his letter. "I recognize the seriousness of this legal matter and appreciate the thoroughness of the judicial process and ask for leniency with these factors in mind."

But aside from two journalists and a half dozen attendees affiliated with the prosecution, no other members of the public attended the sentencing.

"It pains me that there is no one here for Mr. Davis," Shroff told the court while fighting through tears. She acknowledged her client's "poor decisions" but argued for a time-served sentence with requirements for community service, mental health therapy and treatment for a cannabis addiction.

Davis, who helped the Boston Celtics win the 2008 championship and retired from the NBA after his final season in 2014-15, grew increasingly animated throughout the hearing, shaking his head, burying his face in his hands and sighing deeply in disbelief.

"When I lost basketball, I lost myself," he pleaded to Judge Valerie E. Caproni before the sentence was handed down. "I ask you, your honor, to help me get back to who I am."

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