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Tony Allen has not spoken publicly since he was charged in federal court in October for his alleged role in a multi-million dollar health insurance fraud scheme. On Wednesday, the former Memphis Grizzlies guard broke his silence.
In a 30-second clip posted on Grind City Media's Twitter account, Allen thanked his family, friends and fans for standing by him. He also asked the Grizzlies to postpone his jersey retirement until next season.
A message from The Grindfather: pic.twitter.com/PV6jDemzJf
— Grind City Media (@grindcitymedia) November 24, 2021
The Grizzlies scheduled to hold the ceremony on Jan. 28 when the team hosted the Utah Jazz and Allen's former teammate Mike Conley.
"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," Allen said in the video.
Allen and his wife Desiree were among 19 people, including 18 former NBA players, arrested and charged for allegedly defrauding the NBA's Health and Welfare Benefit Plan. Prosecutors claimed the scheme was orchestrated by Terrence Williams, who played four NBA seasons.
The Allens and former Memphis Tigers All-American Chris Douglas Roberts appeared in a New York federal court for their initial status conference on Oct. 27. According to court documents, their next status conference is scheduled for May 5 at Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse in New York.
Tony and Desiree Allen were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care and wire fraud. According to court documents, Tony Allen received $420,075 in reimbursements for chiropractic and dental services he did not receive.
When the claims were reviewed by a board of trustees overseeing the NBA's healthcare plan, Allen's claims were denied and he repaid $350,075 of the money he owed.
With Allen's next court date not until the end of the regular season in April, it made sense that it would not be prudent to retire his jersey.
"We can all truly celebrate it together," Allen said. "In the meantime between time, I will continue to be active in the Memphis community doing my part to make our city better."
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This article originally appeared on Memphis Commercial Appeal: Tony Allen asks Memphis Grizzlies to postpone jersey retirement