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Former NFL Players Charged with Healthcare Fraud Scheme

Posted by Audrey Schechter | Dec 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

CNN reported that 10 former NFL Players have been charged with committing healthcare fraud by submitting almost $4M in insurance claims for "expensive medical equipment" never purchased.  The equipment included "hyperbaric oxygen chambers, 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."  The ill-conceived plan is all the more absurd when one realizes that the money they were making from the scheme would be split 10 ways.  We need to narrow the groups of people willing to commit healthcare fraud, not increase it!

Here's the text of the article:

(CNN)Former Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis and other retired NFL players have been charged by a federal grand jury with defrauding the NFL's health care benefits plan for its retirees, according to an indictment unsealed Thursday.

The former NFL players allegedly submitted fraudulent health care claims seeking to be reimbursed for "expensive medical equipment" that was never purchased, court records show.
CNN is reaching out to the NFL and the named players for comment.
According to an indictment unsealed in Kentucky, the former players are accused of submitting claims for equipment such as "hyperbaric oxygen chambers, 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."
 
The scheme, which lasted from June 2017 to December 2018, led to over $3.9 million in false and fraudulent claims, of which the plan paid out more than $3.4 million, prosecutors said in a news release.
The defendants "each personally profited" by receiving reimbursements from the plan or by getting kickbacks and bribes paid by participants in exchange for making false and fraudulent claims, the indictment says.
The defendants include:
  • Portis, the former Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos running back;
  • Robert McCune, a former linebacker with the Redskins;
  • John Eubanks, a former cornerback with the Redskins;
  • Tamarick Vanover, a former Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver;
  • Ceandris "C.C." Brown, a former Houston Texans safety;
  • James Butler, a former New York Giants and St. Louis Rams safety;
  • Fredrick Bennett, a former Houston Texans defensive back;
  • Etric Pruitt, a former defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks;
  • Carlos Rogers, a former Redskins and San Francisco 49ers cornerback;
  • and Correll Buckhalter, a former Philadelphia Eagles running back.
In addition, the government plans to file criminal informations charging Joseph Horn, the former New Orleans Saints wide receiver, and Donald "Reche" Caldwell, the former San Diego Chargers and New England Patriots wide receiver, according to the news release.
More than 20 FBI field offices across the country participated in the investigation, from Miami to New Jersey to Los Angeles, prosecutors said.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/12/us/nfl-health-care-fraud/index.html

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About the Author

Audrey Schechter

Audrey Hildes Schechter is an experienced commercial and civil litigator, working in the areas of fraud, qui tam, healthcare fraud, Medicare and Medicaid fraud, Tricare fraud, appellate practice, health care law, and employment litigation. Audrey has practiced in Florida for 25 years and in New Y...

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