Three former National Football League (NFL) players admitted their involvement in a nationwide health care fraud.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Clinton Portis, Tamarick Vanover, and Robert McCune pleaded guilty to defrauding the health care benefit program for retired NFL players.
On Friday, the three NFL players confessed that they participated in a scheme to defraud the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, which was established pursuant to the NFL’s 2006 collective bargaining agreement.
The Plan provided tax-free reimbursements of out-of-pocket medical care expenses by retired NFL players, their spouses, and dependents. The maximum amount of reimbursement is $350,000 per player.
Portis, Vanover, and McCune joined 12 other former NFL players who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
In December 2019, the Justice Department originally charged 10 former NFL players including Portis, Vanover, and McCune for allegedly defrauding the Plan. The three of them were also included in a superseding indictment in July 2020.
Portis submitted false and fraudulent claims to the Plan for himself over a two-month period. He obtained $99,264 in reimbursements for expensive medical equipment that was not actually provided.
Vanover ensouraged three other retired NFL players to participate in the scheme to swindle the Plan. He helped them submit fake claims to the Plan. They obtained $159, 510 for expensive medical equipment that were not provided.
Portis and Vanover pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. They agreed to pay full restitution to the Plan.
McCune is the mastermind of nationwide health care fraud scheme, which resulted to the plan paying approximately $2.5 million in false and fraudulent claims. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, 13 counts of health care fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
Portis and Vanovder are scheduled to be sentenced on January 6 and January 22 next year, respectively. They are both facing a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
McCune’s sentencing is set on November 19. He is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, 10 years for each count of health care fraud, 20 years for each count of wire fraud, and two years for each count of aggravated identity theft.
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