Clinton Portis Among 10 Ex-NFL Players Charged in Alleged Health Benefits Scam

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Former Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis is among a group of 10 ex-NFL players charged with defrauding the league's health care program for its retirees, according to an indictment unsealed on Thursday.

The group of former players has been charged in the Eastern District of Kentucky for submitting false and fraudulent health care claims to be reimbursed for medical equipment that was never purchased. The medical equipment described on the claims included "hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, ultrasound machines designed for use by a doctor's office to conduct women's health examinations and electromagnetic therapy devices designed for use on horses."

More than $3.9 million in false and fraudulent claims were submitted and more than $3.4 million was paid out between June 2017 and December 2018.

"Ten former NFL players allegedly committed a brazen, multi-million-dollar fraud on a health care plan meant to help their former teammates and other retired players pay legitimate, out-of-pocket medical expenses," Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said. "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."

Prosecutors said the alleged fraud was halted when health insurer Cigna became suspicious of some of the claims, including ones for equipment used to treat horses, and notified authorities.

The defendants were allegedly offered "kickbacks and bribes" ranging from a few thousand dollars to $10,000 or more for making false and fraudulent claims.

The defendants include:

  • Portis, a former Redskins and Broncos RB
  • Robert McCune, a former Redskins LB
  • John Eubanks, a former Redskins CB
  • Tamarick Vanover, a former Chiefs WR
  • Carlos Rogers, a former Redskins and 49ers CB
  • Ceandris "C.C." Brown, a former Texans safety
  • James Butler, a former Giants and Rams safety
  • Fredrick Bennett, a former Texans DB
  • Correll Buckhalter, a former Eagles RB
  • Etric Pruitt, a former Falcons and Seahawks DB

The government also filed notice that it intends to file criminal information charging former Saints RB Joseph Horn and former Chargers WR Donald "Reche" Caldwell with conspiracy to commit health care fraud in the Eastern District of Kentucky.