Skip to main content

This Sept. 12, 2010, file photo shows Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis before the start of a game against the Dallas Cowboys, in Landover, Md.

The Associated Press

Ten former NFL players, including former Washington running back Clinton Portis, were accused of defrauding one of the league’s retiree health care benefit programs out of US$3.4-million for phony purchases of medical equipment, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

Brian Benczkowski, assistant attorney-general for the criminal division of the U.S. Department of Justice, said claims totaling US$3.9-million were filed and US$3.4-million was reimbursed as part of a system that involved kickbacks and the recruiting of players to take part.

According to the indictment, the individual claims, filed from June, 2017 to December, 2018, averaged US$40,000 to US$50,000 each for medical equipment that was never prescribed by doctors and never ordered or delivered. Instead, the players are charged with filing fraudulent claims to the plan and, after being reimbursed, sending kickbacks to the ringleaders.

Story continues below advertisement

The retired players “treated the plan like it was their own personal ATM,” Benczkowski said.

According to prosecutors, the scheme was led by three former players: Robert McCune, John Eubanks and Tamarick Vanover. The men recruited other former players to take part by offering to submit fraudulent claims in exchange for kickbacks and bribes.

The two grand jury indictments, which were filed in the Eastern District of Kentucky, also named Carlos Rogers, a defensive back for Washington who last played in 2014; Correll Buckhalter, a running back who spent five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles; and several other players, including some who played in fewer than 10 NFL games.

McCune was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health-care fraud, nine counts of wire fraud and nine counts of health-care fraud. Eubanks, Vanover and Rogers were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health-care fraud, two counts of wire fraud and two counts of health-care fraud.

Portis, Ceandris Brown, James Butler and Fred Bennett were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health-care fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of health-care fraud.

Buckhalter and Etric Pruitt were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health-care fraud.

Prosecutors said they intended to file conspiracy charges against two other players, Joseph Horn and Reche Caldwell.

Story continues below advertisement

Related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter
To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies