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#pounditThursday, December 2, 2021

Ex-NBA player implicated himself in fraud scheme with boneheaded move

Greg Smith

Greg Smith is one of more than a dozen former NBA players who were arrested on Thursday in connection with a fraud scheme. If the allegations against him are true, it does not sound like Smith is a very savvy criminal.

Smith and 17 other ex-NBA players are facing federal charges after they allegedly defrauded the NBA’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of nearly $4 million. Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, held a press conference on Thursday to reveal details of the investigation. She discussed, among other things, how the former players submitted false claims for root canals and other dental procedures that they never underwent. Smith allegedly submitted a false claim for nearly $50,000 worth of dental work that he claimed he had in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Dec. 20, 2018. Investigators determined that Smith was in Taiwan that day.

How did they figure that out? Smith was playing basketball in Taiwan at the time. Box scores even served as evidence.

Smith has played for three different NBA teams in addition to several professional teams overseas. He played for Bank of Taiwan in Taiwan’s Super Basketball League back in 2018.

Strauss explained that other former players, including Glen “Big Baby” Davis, submitted false claims for ridiculous amounts of dental work they said they had in a single day.

That doesn’t sound like the perfect crime.

Terrence Williams, who was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the 11th overall pick in 2009, was the alleged orchestrator of the fraud scheme. Apparently he did not think it through. You can read more details about the case here.

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