Ten former NFL players have been charged with defrauding the league’s health care benefit program, the Justice Department announced Thursday. They include five former players on the Washington Redskins, including Clinton Portis and Carlos Rogers.
“Today’s indictments underscore that whoever you are, if you loot health care programs to line your own pockets, you will be held accountable by the Department of Justice,” Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said in a statement.
Prosecutors allege the players targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, which was established as part of a collective bargaining agreement in 2006. It provides tax-free reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical care expenses that were not covered by insurance and that were incurred by former players, their spouses and dependents.
“The defendants are alleged to have developed and executed a fraudulent scheme to undermine a health care benefit plan established by the NFL — one established to help their former teammates and colleagues pay for legitimate medical expenses,” U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr., for the Eastern District of Kentucky, said in a Justice Department statement.
The department, citing charging documents, said more $3.9 million in fraudulent and false claims were submitted to the Plan, which paid out more than $3.4 million between June 2017 and last December on the claims.