Clinton Portis, other ex-NFL players plead guilty to defrauding league healthcare program

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LANDOVER, MD - AUGUST 15: Former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis looks on from the sidelines prior to the NFL preseason game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins on August 15, 2019, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Clinton Portis is reportedly facing up to 10 years in prison. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former Denver Broncos and Washington Football Team star Clinton Portis is among the latest batch of former NFL players who have pleaded guilty to defrauding a league healthcare program, according to the Associated Press.

Portis, Tamarick Vanover and Robert McCune all reportedly admitted to defrauding the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, a program set up to reimburse up to $350,000 in medical expenses for retired players and their families. 

McCune, who played as a linebacker for Washington, the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens between 2005 and 2008, is facing the most serious charges of the group by far. The U.S. Department of Justice reportedly alleged he orchestrated the scheme that led to approximately $2.9 million in fraudulent claims.

He is reportedly facing life in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, 13 counts of health care fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19.

Portis and Vanover reportedly pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and could face up to 10 years in prison. Court documents reportedly indicate Portis was responsible for nearly $100,000 in claims and Vanover nearly $160,000. Portis scheduled for sentencing on Jan. 6 and Vanover on Jan. 22.

What Clinton Portis and other ex-NFL players allegedly did

In the original indictment, the trio was part of a group of 12 players accused of submitting false claims for reimbursement for expensive medical equipment that was never purchased, such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultrasound machines that are typically used on pregnant women, and electromagnetic therapy devices used on horses.

The ringleaders would allegedly find ex-players eligible for the program and offer to submit claims, fabricating documents and prescriptions in exchange for kickbacks.

Claims would allegedly be for about $40,000 to $50,000 and were submitted between June 2017 and Dec. 2018, eventually adding up to millions of dollars in fraud.

In addition to the three players who pleaded guilty on Tuesday, 12 other players, including former Pro Bowl wide receiver Joe Horn, have been charged and pleaded guilty.

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