Clinton Portis is among former NFL players charged in an alleged $3 million health benefits scam

LANDOVER, MD – AUGUST 22: Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins watches the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Fed Ex Field on August 22, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

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.

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