10 former NFL players have been charged with defrauding a healthcare program set up to reimburse out-of-pocket medical expenses.
The ten NFL players, including ex-Redskins star Clinton Portis, face 20 years in prison if they are convicted of defrauding the league's healthcare program.
U.S. Justice Department prosecutors allege the players defrauded the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. The healthcare plan was established in 2006 to provide tax-free reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical expenses.
$3.4 million was paid out in 2017 and 2018 to former players, their wives and dependents for a total of $10 million. Some of the former players claimed they suffered from CTE-type brain injuries during their playing days.
Other players submitted claims to be reimbursed for expensive medical equipment like oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, and electromagnetic therapy devices costing up to $50,000 each.
The alleged ringleaders accepted $10,000 in kickbacks from players involved in the scheme.
The Justice Department announced the indictments during a press conference on Thursday, Dec. 12.
Other former players charged in the scheme include Carlos Rogers, Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Ceandris "C.C." Brown, James Butler, Frederick Bennett and Etrick Pruitt.