Clinton Portis and nine other former NFL players have been charged by a federal grand jury for illegally obtaining money from the NFL's retiree health care benefits plan according to CNN. The two indictments that were unsealed stated that the 10 NFL players obtained $3 million. They allegedly "submitted fraudulent health care claims seeking to be reimbursed for expensive medical equipment that was never purchased, typically about $40,000 to $50,000 per claim.
"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 in a statement.
The 10 players who are charged are Portis, Carlos Rogers, Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Ceandris Brown, James Butler, Frederick Bennett, Correll Buckhalter and Etric Pruitt. The equipment included were hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultrasound machines and electromagnetic therapy devices made for horses according to prosecutors. The scheme lasted from June 2017 to December 2018, and it led to $3.9 million of false claims.
"This is very much like a typical healthcare fraud scheme. There were two ringleaders," Benczkowski said per CBS Sports. "The second ringleader learned about it from the first. Those individuals then recruited recruiters. Those recruiters would then reach to the former players they knew. So it looks just like a traditional healthcare fraud scheme."
In addition to the 10 players being charged, the government plans to file charges against Joe Horn and Donald "Reche" Caldwell. Horn played for the New Orleans Saints and Caldwell played for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots.
The players have yet to comment on the matter, and the NFL and NFLPA were made aware of the charges. Portis is the biggest name of the 10 players based on what he did in his NFL career. And this is not the first time Portis has had financial issues as he admitted to being nearly driven to murder after his manager had his funds tied up in a number of investments.
Portis was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round back in 2002 and played with the team for two seasons before being traded to the Denver Broncos. In his career, Portis was named to the Pro Bowl in 2003 and 2008 and named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2002 after rushing for 1,508 and 15 touchdowns. He announced his retirement in 2012 and was honored among the 80 Greatest Redskins of All-Time.