Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that AAMIR WAHAB was sentenced to three years in prison for his role in a scheme to defraud the National Basketball Association (“NBA”) Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan (the “Plan”). U.S. District Judge Valerie E. Caproni imposed the sentence.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “Aamir Wahab exploited his dental practice to facilitate a million-dollar health care fraud scheme. Wahab’s goals were ambitious, telling a codefendant to ‘get [him] the whole NBA,’ but the career prosecutors of this Office and our law enforcement partners were relentless in bringing Wahab and his codefendants to justice.”
According to the Information, public court filings, and statements made in court:
The NBA Players’ Health and Welfare Benefit Plan is a health care plan providing benefits to eligible active and former players of the NBA. WAHAB is a dentist licensed in California who owns and operates a dental practice (“Dental Office-1”) located in Beverly Hills, California.
From at least in or about 2018, up to and including at least in or about 2019, WAHAB participated in a scheme with several other former NBA players, including Terrence Williams and Keyon Dooling, to defraud the Plan. WAHAB’s role in the scheme was to document that former NBA players or their spouses received certain dental services, when, in reality, the services were not provided.
WAHAB accomplished his role in the scheme in two ways. First, WAHAB created, and caused others to create, fraudulent invoices for former NBA players or their spouses. The former NBA players would then submit the fraudulent invoices to the Plan to request reimbursements that they were not entitled to. Second, WAHAB charged, and caused others to charge, the Plan-issued debit cards of former NBA players. The Plan-issued debit cards were intended to be used by Plan participants to pay for eligible medical services at the point of service. However, WAHAB charged the Plan-issued debit cards of former NBA players for medical services that were never actually provided. In return for his participation in the scheme, WAHAB received a portion of the fraud proceeds.
As evidenced by text messages recovered in the search of WAHAB’s cellular phone, WAHAB was eager to take part in the fraud scheme, in the hopes of making illicit profits. When Dooling wrote to WAHAB, “Let’s make this thing grow sir,” WAHAB responded “Lol I’m down bro Get me the whole NBA.” Similarly, WAHAB and Williams had explicit conversations about the creation of fraudulent invoices. In March 2019, Williams wanted WAHAB to charge co-conspirators’ Plan-issued debit cards more frequently, but WAHAB was initially reluctant. While disagreeing about whether to charge the debit cards, Williams and WAHAB also argued about whether Williams owed WAHAB approximately $12,000 in fraud proceeds. Annoyed and angry, Williams messaged WAHAB: “YOUVE MADE THOUSANDS OF F[----]ING DOLLARS TO PRINT A[N] INVOICE WITH A NAME AT THE TOP like you f[----]ing kidding me[?!] We not gonna act like you doing dental work.”
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In addition to his prison term, WAHAB, 44, of Los Angeles, California, was ordered to forfeit $458,576.50 and pay restitution of $1,192,522.
Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ryan B. Finkel and Daniel G. Nessim are in charge of the prosecution.
 Williams and Dooling pled guilty. Williams was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and Dooling was sentenced to 30 months in prison.