Encino chiropractor sentenced to federal prison for defrauding NBA health plan

An Encino chiropractor has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years behind bars for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme involving former NBA players to defraud the basketball league's health plan, according to court papers obtained Wednesday.

Patrick Khaziran, known to players as Dr. Pat, was also ordered Tuesday by a federal judge in Manhattan to pay restitution of $1.3 million and forfeit $439,000.

For four years ending in 2021, Khaziran and nearly two dozen former NBA players, including Terrence Williams, provided false documentation showing that the ex-pro players received certain medical services when, in fact, the medical services were never provided.

"As a medical provider, Patrick Khaziran had a responsibility not to abuse his position of trust," Damian Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

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"Instead, Khaziran used his role as a licensed chiropractor to generate dozens of fraudulent invoices for at least 22 former NBA players. He did this to enrich himself and his co-conspirators at the expense of the NBA Players' Health and Welfare Benefit Plan."

Khaziran pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.

Prosecutors said ex-NBA guard Terrence Williams ran the scheme and recruited others to be part of it, giving them fake paperwork for medical and dental reimbursements to submit. The former player pleaded guilty in August to conspiring to commit health care and wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft, and is awaiting sentencing.

He and other former players were charged in an indictment in October 2021. Authorities said at least $5 million in false claims were submitted to the health plan between 2017 and 2021.

Terrence Williams — who played four NBA seasons with the Nets, Celtics, Rockets and Kings — received at least $300,000 in kickbacks from the others for his efforts, prosecutors said.