Former NFL players Tamarick Vanover, Clinton Portis and Robert McCune have pleaded guilty to their involvement in a healthcare fraud system. Portis, McCune and Vanover have been accused of scamming the NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, a program that provides tax-free reimbursement to former players and their families for any out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by their insurance plans.
"Portis caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to the Plan on his behalf over a two-month period, obtaining $99,264 in benefits for expensive medical equipment that was not actually provided. Vanover recruited three other former NFL players into the fraudulent scheme and assisted them in causing false and fraudulent claims to be submitted to the Plan, obtaining $159,510 for expensive medical equipment that was not actually provided," the Department of Justice reports.
"McCune orchestrated the nationwide fraud, which resulted in approximately $2.9 million in false and fraudulent claims being submitted to the Plan and the Plan paying out approximately $2.5 million on those claims between June 2017 and April 2018."
Portis and Vanover have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud. As a result, they have agreed to pay full restitution and face a jail sentence of up to 10 years. Vanover will be sentenced on January 22, 2022, while Portis is sentenced on January 6, 2022.
Meanwhile, McCune plead guilty to 13 counts of healthcare fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. Vanover faces up to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire and healthcare fraud, 20 years for each count of wire fraud, 10 years for each count of healthcare fraud and two years for each count of identity theft. He will be sentenced on November 19.
Portis, Vanover and McCune have received the harshest penalties for their involvement in the healthcare fraud ring, but they were not the only former players involved. Twelve others players were indicted and pled guilty to conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud during the course of the DOJ's investigation. Former Pro Bowlers Joe Horn and Carlos Rogers were among those involved in the fraud system.