Ex-NFL players accused of health care scheme

NFL

Ten former NFL players, including ex-Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, have been charged with defrauding the league’s health program for millions of dollars.

The players are among a group of 12 that are facing charges in the Eastern District of Kentucky, the Department of Justice announced Thursday. They are accused of filing more than $3.9 million in fraudulent claims, of which more than $3.4 million were paid from June 2017 to December 2018.

Along with the charges that were announced, the Department of Justice said it will seek charges against two others, including former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Joe Horn.

“Ten former NFL players allegedly committed a brazen, multimillion-dollar fraud on a health care plan meant to help their former teammates and other retired players pay legitimate, out-of-pocket medical expenses,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski. “Today’s indictments underscore that, whoever you are, if you loot health care programs to line your own pockets, you will be held accountable by the Department of Justice.”

The other players charged are Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Carlos Rogers, Ceandris Brown, James Butler, Fredrick Bennett, Correll Buckhalter, and Etric Pruitt.

The government also intends to charge Donald “Reche” Caldwell.

According to the indictments, the players made claims for expensive medical equipment, such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, ultrasound machines and electromagnetic therapy devices, that wasn’t purchased or received. The typical claim was for $40,000 to $50,000.

Several of the former players are accused of recruiting other players to join the scheme and would make the claims in return for kickbacks of up to $10,000.

Portis told ESPN’s John Keim, “I don’t have any comment on that.”

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