Former NFL star Clinton Portis, other football players criminally charged with $3.9 million health-care claims fraud

Former NFL star Clinton Portis, other football players criminally charged with $3.9 million health-care claims fraud
By: WNG CNBC Posted On: December 12, 2019 View: 42

Former NFL star Clinton Portis, other football players criminally charged with $3.9 million health-care claims fraud

LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 15: Former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis looks on from the sidelines prior to the NFL preseason game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins on August 15, 2019, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD.

Lee Coleman | Icon Sportswire | Getty Images

A group of 10 former NFL players, including Wasington Redskins star running back Clinton Portis, have been criminally charged in connection with a brazen $3.9 million nationwide scheme to submit false claims to a health-care program run by the football league.

The players are accused in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky of claiming reimbursements for expensive medical equipment that never was actually purchased.

The equipment including hyperbaric devices, ultrasound equipment used to perform imaging on pregnant women, and "even electro-magnetic therapy devices used on horses," a prosecutor said.

Other charged defendants include Robert McCune, a former Redskins linebacker and John Eubanks, who had played cornerback for the Washington club. 

Charges also were filed against Tamarick Vanover, a former wide receiver with the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers, Ceandris Brown, who had played safety with the Houston Texans and New York Giants, former Giants safety James Butler, Frederick Bennett and Etric Pruitt.

The allegedly bogus claims were submitted to the NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, which since 2006 has provided tax-free reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical costs.

The alleged fraud was stopped when the insurer Cigna became suspicious and stopped paying the claims.

"This investigation serves as an illustration of the rampant and deliberate scams against health care plans occurring daily throughout the country," said FBI Special Agent in Charge George Piro of the Miami Field Office.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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