Several retired NFL greats have been indicted by a grand jury for conspiracy, wire fraud and health care fraud related to stealing money from the NFL’s healthcare plan. Pretty serious stuff as they face penalties of up to 20 years in prison. As former Redskins fans, one name jumped out at us immediately: Clinton Portis, a retired Redskin running back. We know our readers are familiar with many of the others accused which include Robert McCune (Ravens), Carlos Rogers (Raiders), and Correll Buckhalter (Eagles). See full list below.
So, what’d they allegedly do?
According to the Department of Justice, the former players submitted fake claims to the health insurer for medical equipment. The players would submit claims having never purchased anything or with the intent to purchase anything and then they’d simply pocket the cash. The claims weren’t for ace bandages and crutches either but rather for expensive medical devices with claims averaging $40,000-$50,000. The claims included such things as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultrasound machines (designed for use in a doctor’s office and to be used on female patients) and electromagnetic therapy devices not meant for humans (that’s not so smart).
How much money we talking?
According to prosecutors, the scheme lasted from June 2017 to December 2018 during which more than $3.9 million in false and fraudulent claims were submitted. The plan paid out more than $3.4 million. Quite the benefit rich plan! We’re barely able to get 20% of our valid claims reimbursed.
How’d they get caught?
Often with conspiracy it’s the very nature of the crime–the fact that more than one person is involved–that tips law enforcement off: people talk. As a Proof grandmother once said, “between you and your pillow there are no secrets.” Think about that. But here, it wasn’t loose lips but rather Cigna, the health insurer, who called it to the attention of law enforcement. Apparently the claims raised some red flags for them and they referred it to investigators. (Thinking that horse electromagnetic machine might have been the first clue…)
More Names to Come
Though currently ten players have been charged, the Department of Justice has announced that others will be charged as well. To date here is who we know about, in addition to the four names noted above: John Eubanks (Redskins); Joe Horn (Saints), Reche Caldwell (Chargers/Patriots), Tamarick Vanover, (Kansas City Chiefs), Ceandris “C.C.” Brown (Texans), James Butler (Giants/Rams), Etric Pruitt (Falcons/Seahawks), and Fredrick Bennett (Texans).