Utah Jazz assistant Keyon Dooling charged with defrauding NBA health plan

Dooling is among 19 people accused of attempting to defraud the NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan.

(Photo courtesy of Utah Jazz) Keyon Dooling joined coach Quin Snyder’s staff as an assistant coach in September 2020.

Utah Jazz assistant coach Keyon Dooling was among 19 people charged Wednesday with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, and was placed on administrative leave by the organization.

Sixteen of those people were charged in a prior indictment, including former Jazz point guard Milt Palacio. But federal officials in New York amended the indictment Wednesday to include three more defendants — Aamir Wahab, a dentist in California; William Washington, a doctor in Washington state; and Dooling.

They are accused of “a scheme to defraud the National Basketball Association’s Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of at least approximately $5 million.”

The Jazz issued a statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Keyon made us aware of the situation this morning. It is a case concerning his time at the National Basketball Players Association, prior to him joining our organization. He has been put on paid administrative leave. Due to the ongoing legal process, we will refrain from further comment.”

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Michael J. Driscoll, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the FBI, announced the indictments Wednesday that also include Anthony Allen, Desiree Allen, Alan Anderson, Shannon Brown, William Bynum, Ronald Glen Davis, Christopher Douglas-Roberts, Darius Miles, Jamario Moon, Ruben Patterson, Eddie Robinson, Sebastian Telfair, Charles Watson Jr., Terrence Williams, Anthony Wroten, and Palacio.

Those charged are accused of submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental services that were not actually rendered. According to the indictment, “Over the course of the scheme, the defendants submitted and caused to be submitted to the Plan false claims totaling at least approximately $5 million.”

Dooling, who was arrested on Wednesday, was accused of recruiting participants to the scheme “by offering to supply them with false invoices to support their false and fraudulent claims to the Plan in exchange for payments” to himself and Williams, who is portrayed as the person who orchestrated the scheme.

He is also accused of obtaining “fraudulent invoices from Wahab and others, which he used to submit his own fraudulent claims; based on those claims, Dooling himself fraudulently obtained approximately $350,000 of Plan proceeds.”

According to the indictment, around April 2018, Dooling had a text message exchange with Wahab in which they discussed making the scheme more widespread.

“Lol I’m down bro[.] Get me the whole NBA [laughing emoji],” Wahab wrote.

“Yes we will,” Dooling replied.

Another portion of the indictment includes Dooling texting a co-conspirator about transferring proceeds obtained from a transaction in the scheme … on or about June 28, 2019.

The fraud charges carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

Williams is also charged with two counts of aggravated identity theft, while Anderson is also charged with one count of aggravated identity theft.

Dooling was hired to coach Quin Snyder’s staff in a player development role in September 2020.

After playing for Snyder at the University of Missouri, Dooling played in the NBA from 2000-13, with seven teams. He has career averages of 7.0 points and 2.2 assists in 728 career NBA games. Following his retirement from playing, Dooling began working with the NBA Players Association, where he served as a wellness counselor and mental health advocate between 2014-20.

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