Jazz assistant Keyon Dooling arrested for defrauding NBA benefits plan


NEW YORK (AP) — A former vice president of the National Basketball Players Association was arrested Wednesday and added to a criminal case in which 18 former NBA players were charged with illegally pocketing millions of dollars by defrauding the league health and welfare benefit plan.

The rewritten indictment added Keyon Dooling to the case first filed in October, when federal officials said a number of former NBA players combined to collect about 2.5 million dollars from the benefit plan.

Dooling, who served as union official for eight years and eventually became its first vice president, was among three people added to the indictment on Wednesday. Dooling, now an assistant coach with the Utah Jazz organization, spent parts of 13 seasons in the NBA as a member of seven different teams.

In a statement, the Jazz said Dooling informed the club of the indictment Wednesday morning.

“This is a matter regarding his time with the National Basketball Players Association, before he joined our organization. He has been placed on paid administrative leave,” the Jazz said. ongoing, we will refrain from further comment.”

The Jazz will play Game 6 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series against the Dallas Mavericks at home on Thursday.

Dooling was arrested in Utah on Wednesday, officials said.

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Also added to the indictment were a doctor and a dentist who officials say were medical providers who facilitated the scheme.

Dooling, officials said, “would have engaged in the scheme and recruited other accomplices to join the scheme.”

All have been charged with health care fraud and electronic conspiracy in a fraud that authorities say stretched from at least 2017 to 2020.

In October, a prosecutor said each defendant made false statements ranging from $65,000 to $420,000.

The indictment updated Wednesday says Dooling pocketed about $350,000 of the proceeds of the plan illegally. In total, he said about $5 million in bogus claims were submitted, although claimants did not receive as many products.

Dooling was previously the union’s wellness adviser, helping oversee its mental health and wellness department. He also wrote a book in 2014 about how he dealt with stress after being sexually abused as a child.

“Health is everything,” Dooling said in an interview after the book’s release. “That should be your highest priority, health of all kinds, of mind and body.”

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