NEW YORK: Eighteen former NBA players have been charged with allegedly defrauding the league’s health insurance scheme of almost $4 million, New York prosecutors said Thursday. The prosecutors accuse Terrence Williams, who played for the New Jersey Nets and Houston Rockets, of orchestrating the fraud, in which they say he received kickbacks totaling $230,000. Glen “Big Baby” Davis, who was part of the Boston Celtics side that won the 2008 NBA Championship, and Tony Allen — a six-time NBA All-Defensive Team member — were also charged in the scheme that allegedly ran from at least 2017 to last year. According to the indictment, the accused defrauded the NBA player’s health and welfare benefit plan by submitting false reimbursement claims for medical and dental services that had not been carried out. Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York (SDNY) say Williams recruited other players to the scheme by offering to give them fake invoices to support their fraudulent claims. He “was the scheme’s linchpin,” lead prosecutor Audrey Strauss told reporters, adding that he tried to intimidate a player who didn’t pay him a kickback by impersonating an employee from the insurance plan. The indictment alleges that the accused submitted false claims totaling $3.9 million and that the players received about $2.5 million in fraudulent payouts. The players were all charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud.