On September 7, the Department of Justice announced that Clinton Portis and two other former NFL players had pled guilty to defrauding a health care program set up by the NFL to benefit former players. This announcement came after a trial resulted in a hung jury and a mistrial on some counts. The health care program entitled former NFL players to tax-free reimbursement of up to $350,000 in medical expenses. Along with the three NFL players that pled guilty leading up to the September 7 announcement, twelve other former players had pled guilty to their involvement in the fraud. Those individuals include Joe Horn, Correll Buckhalter, Carlos Rogers, James Butler, Etric Pruitt, Ceandris Brown, John Eubanks, Antwan Odom, Darrell Reid, Anthony Montgomery, Fredrick Bennett, and Reche Caldwell.
Former player Robert McCune was allegedly the individual managing the fraud across the country. In total, McCune is alleged to have caused $2.9 million in claims to be submitted to the plan, with a total of $2.5 million in claims actually being reimbursed. Another former player, Tamarick Vanover, allegedly encouraged three other former players to join the scheme, causing nearly $160,000 in false claims to be submitted to the program. Portis, the most famous and successful of the players involved, is alleged to have submitted false claims for nearly $100,000 in medical equipment that was not actually purchased.
After pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, and aggravated identity theft, among other counts, McCune faces a potential sentence of over 350 years in prison. After pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, Portis and Vanover face up to 10 years in prison for their conduct. They also must pay restitution to the health care program.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with white-collar criminal investigations and health care fraud investigations. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.