Tony Allen breaks silence after being charged with federal health care fraud

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Grizzlies legend Tony Allen spoke out on Wednesday for the first time since being charged with federal health care fraud.

On October 7, the news broke that “The Grindfather” was among 18 ex-NBA players that were charged with defrauding the NBA Health and Benefits plan out of nearly $4 million.

SEE MORE: Tony Allen, other former Memphis players among 18 charged in $4M NBA health care fraud scheme

Allen’s wife was also named in the indictment.

In a video posted on Twitter by Grind City Media, Allen said that he can’t address his case, but he is asking the Memphis Grizzlies to postpone his jersey retirement which was scheduled for January 28, 2022 at the FedExForum.

“Grizz Nation, this is The Grindfather, Tony Allen. First, I just want to thank all my family, friends and fans for standing by me through this time. Although I can’t address the ongoing legal matters right now, I want everyone to know I’m doing the work to address my case. That said, I have asked the Grizzlies to postpone my jersey retirement until next season so that we can all truly celebrate it together. In the meantime, between time, I will remain active in the Memphis community, doing my part to make our city better. Thank you. Grit-And-Grind, forever.”

Allen is well-known in Memphis for helping lead the Grizzlies to the 2013 NBA Western Conference Finals and getting the team to the semifinal round in 2011 and 2015.

The Grindfather also has a history of passing out Thanksgiving meals to people in Memphis.

SEE MORE: Fans react to fraud allegations against former Grizzlies legend Tony Allen

U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said that Allen also contributed to a three-year conspiracy between 2017 and 2020 of filing false claims totalling $3.9 million.

Allen and the other defendants, according to Strauss, received about $2.5 million in total with each participant making false claims for reimbursements ranging between $65,000 and $420,000.

If convicted, Allen could face up to 20 years in prison.