Twelve former NFL players face federal criminal charges for alleged claims against their brothers from the league, resulting in $ 3.4 million being withdrawn from the NFL fund for retired players, the spokesman said.
Among the players are former Redskins running back Clinton Portis, former Chiefs wide receiver Tamarick Vanover and former Saints wide receiver Joe Horn. The charges, filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky, came in multiple billing documents – two categories with a total of 10 players and intentions to deposit information to two additional players. The information will be for lower charges, which players have reported being charged due to their agreement to work with the government. Horn is one of the players charged with the information.
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The charges were dropped and announced Thursday by the Justice Ministry. Other former players in the indictments are John Eubanks, Ceandris Brown, James Butler, Fredrick Bennett, Etric Pruitt, Robert McCune, Carlos Rogers and Correll Buckhalter. Along with Horn, Reche Caldwell is expected to be charged with criminal information.
While prosecutors claim the total amount of fraud is in the millions, the allegations in the indictments amount to only about $ 460,000.
Under the system, the players allegedly made false claims about expensive healthcare equipment, which was never purchased, usually for about $ 40,000 or $ 50,000. In some cases, system leaders will get kicked out of other former players’ false claims.
The program took place between mid-2017 and mid-2018, according to an indictment, before healthcare provider CIGNA detected the fraud, stopped paying the allegations and reported the allegations to investigators. The total amount of claims filed amounted to about $ 3.9 million, prosecutors said.
Portis’ lawyer said the 38-year-old was innocent and did not know the plan, according to The Washington Post.
More from Portis Lawyer: “He is absolutely amazed by this indictment and will proceed with the process of clearing his good name and those of his NFL alumni.”
– Rick Maese (@RickMaese) December 12, 2019
The allegations were made in the context of the NFL Player Compensation Account Draft, which provides free money to retired players for health care services. Former players are said to have created fraudulent documents, including prescriptions, invoices and notes from healthcare providers that confirm players’ use of the equipment.
Equipment is being charged for the included ultrasound devices, oxygen bar cells and “horse-drawn electromagnetic therapy”, prosecutors said in a press conference.