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Jazz assistant coach Keyon Dooling charged with fraud, placed on administrative leave

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SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Jazz assistant coach Keyon Dooling was among 19 people charged with conspiracy to commit fraud Wednesday. He was placed on paid administrative leave by the team following the charge.

The individuals were indicted for an alleged scheme to defraud the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan out of approximately $5 million.

Sixteen of the 19 individuals, including former Jazz point guard Milt Palacios, were charged in a prior indictment; Dooling was one of the three new names added on Wednesday. He was hired as a player development coach by Quin Snyder in September 2020.

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.

The indictment says the group "engaged in a widespread scheme" to defraud the NBA by submitting fraudulent claims for reimbursement of medical and dental services that were never rendered. It adds that over the course of the scheme, the individuals submitted false claims worth approximately $5 million.

Dooling allegedly recruited other 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 as well as former NBA player Terrence Williams, who allegedly orchestrated the scheme.

Dooling, who was arrested Wednesday, allegedly exchanged text messages with Aamir Wahab, a dentist in California, about "the creation of fraudulent invoices" for another former player. The two also exchanged messages in April 2018, according to the indictment, about the potential to make the scheme more widespread.

Dooling texted: "Let's make this thing grow sir."

Wahab responded: "Lol I'm down bro Get me the whole NBA (laughing emoji)"

Dooling: "Yes we will"

According to the indictment, Dooling also obtained fraudulent invoices from Wahab, and others, that he used to submit his own fraudulent claims. The indictment said Dooling "fraudulently obtained approximately $350,000 of Plan proceeds."

The Jazz said Dooling, who was a former vice president of the National Basketball Players Association, made them aware of the legal situation on Wednesday morning, at which point he was put on leave.

"It is a case concerning his time at the National Basketball Players Association, prior to him joining our organization," the team's statement said. "He has been put on paid administrative leave. Due to the ongoing legal process, we will refrain from further comment."

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