WASHINGTON (AP) — Former NFL players Clinton Portis, Tamarick Vanover & Robert McCune pleaded guilty for their roles in a nationwide health care fraud scheme & could face years in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice announced.
Portis, Vanover & McCune admitted to defrauding an NFL program set up to reimburse medical expenses not covered by insurance for retired players & their families.
McCune could be facing life in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud & health care fraud, 13 counts of health care fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud & three counts of aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 19.
The DOJ said McCune orchestrated the scheme that resulted in approximately $2.9 million worth of false & fraudulent claims being filed & $2.5 million paid out between June 2017 & April 2018.
Portis & Vanover each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and could face up to 10 years in prison. According to court documents, Portis was responsible for just under $100,000 & Vanover just under $160,000 in benefits for expensive medical equipment that were not provided.
They agreed to pay back that money. Portis is scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 6 & Vanover on Jan. 22.
The league established the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan after the 2006 collective bargaining agreement to provide tax-free reimbursement of medical expenses up to $350,000 per player.
Portis, Vanover & McCune were originally indicted in the Eastern District of Kentucky in December 2019. Twelve other retired players had previously been charged & pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, including former Chiefs & Saints receiver Joe Horn & longtime defensive back Carlos Rogers.
The FBI investigated the case across the U.S.
McCune, 42, was a 2005 fifth-round draft pick who played eight NFL games at linebacker with Washington & Baltimore.
Vanover, 47, was taken in the third round of the 1995 draft by Kansas City & played 77 games at receiver for the Chiefs & Chargers.
Portis, 40, was a second-round pick of the Broncos in 2002 & won AP Offensive Rookie of the Year honors that year. The running back played 113 games with Denver & Washington from 2002-2010.
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