Former Broncos Pro Bowler among retired NFL players charged in alleged health care benefits scam

Denver Broncos

DENVER – DECEMBER 15: Running back Clinton Portis #26 of the Denver Broncos breaks free for a 51-yard touchdown against safety Shaunard Harts #42 of the Kansas City Chiefs at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 15, 2002 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos won 31-24. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)

DENVER– 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 benefit 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”, even though the equipment 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 fraudulent claims totaling more than $2.5 million, the indictment says. 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;
  • and Etric Pruitt, a former defensive back for the Atlanta Falcons and Seattle Seahawks.

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