Former Pistons Player Will Bynum Sentenced to 18 Months for Insurance Fraud

Fraud scheme unravels, ensnaring former NBA stars.

by Faizan Chaudhary
Former Pistons Player Will Bynum Sentenced to 18 Months for Insurance Fraud
© Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

In a striking development within the sports community, former Detroit Pistons player Will Bynum was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison after being convicted of involvement in a broad NBA insurance fraud scheme. The sentencing occurred on Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, marking a significant moment in a scandal that has implicated over 20 individuals, many of whom are former NBA players.

Bynum, 41, hails from Bensenville, Illinois, and has been a notable figure in basketball, especially during his tenure with the Pistons where he played six seasons. Over his NBA career, Bynum played 360 games, averaging 8.1 points and 3.3 assists per game.

His on-court achievements, however, have now been overshadowed by his off-court legal troubles. The court found him guilty in November of conspiring to submit false dental and medical claims to the NBA Players' Health and Welfare Benefit Plan, a scheme that reportedly spanned from 2018 to 2019.

In addition to his prison term, Judge Valerie E. Caproni ordered Bynum to forfeit and pay restitution amounting to $182,000 each.

Scheme's Key Players

The fraudulent activities involved Bynum and several other ex-NBA players, including Terrence Williams and Keyon Dooling, who have also faced the consequences of their actions.

Williams, described as the orchestrator of the scheme, received a 10-year prison sentence, while Dooling was sentenced to 30 months. According to federal prosecutors, Bynum obtained fake invoices from another former player, falsely claiming $200,000 worth of medical services at a chiropractic clinic in the Los Angeles area, services which were never actually rendered.

These fraudulent claims were part of a larger plot to embezzle funds from the players' health plan, exploiting the trust and resources meant to benefit NBA athletes and their families. During the trial, Bynum took the stand in his defense but was later accused by prosecutors of lying under oath and obstructing justice, charges that undoubtedly influenced his sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams stated, "Bynum lied to the jury while under oath. His sentence stands as a stark warning that prison time awaits any who seek to defraud and obstruct justice." This case serves as a poignant reminder of the legal and ethical responsibilities that come with the privilege of professional sports.

It underscores the judiciary's commitment to upholding justice, even against high-profile figures, and sends a clear message about the severe consequences of engaging in fraud and deception.