10 retired NFL players charged in $3.9M health benefits fraud scheme: 5 things to know

Orthopedic Sports Medicine

Ten former NFL players were charged Dec. 12 for allegedly defrauding a health benefits plan for retired players, according to the Department of Justice.

Five things to know:

1. Former players from the Washington Redskins, Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles and other NFL teams are accused of submitting $3.9 million worth of false claims to The Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, which the NFL established in 2006 to help retired players pay out-of-pocket medical expenses.

2. From June 2017 to December 2018, the former players allegedly billed the plan for medical equipment that wasn't actually purchased, such as ultrasound machines and hyperbaric chambers. The plan paid out over $3.4 million on those claims.

3. Cigna flagged the claims as potentially fraudulent due to "anomalies" and notified federal investigators, CNN reported.

4. The following former players face charges including conspiracy, wire fraud and healthcare fraud:

  • Clinton Portis (Washington Redskins, Denver Broncos)
  • Robert McCune (Washington Redskins)
  • Carlos Rogers (Washington Redskins, San Francisco 49ers)
  • John Eubanks (Washington Redskins)
  • Tamarick Vanover (Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Fred Bennett (Houston Texans)
  • Ceandris "C.C." Brown (Houston Texans)
  • Correll Buckhalter (Philadelphia Eagles)
  • James Butler (St. Louis Rams, New York Giants)
  • Etric Pruitt (Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks)

5. The federal government is still investigating two other players. Authorities plan to file charges against Joseph Horn, who played for the New Orleans Saints, and Donald "Reche" Caldwell, who played for the San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots.

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