The Federal government is pressing charges against ten former professional football players on allegations that they participated in a nationwide conspiracy to defraud a health care benefit program for former National Football League (NFL) players.
According to prosecutors, the former players now charged range in age from 35 to to 45, while another two players, aged 40 and 47, will soon have charges filed against them for allegedly participating in the scheme to defraud the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan.
Investigators say the former players began fraudulently making claims against the plan in the summer of 2017 and continued on through the end of 2018. Though the plan was established in 2006 to cover out-of-pocket expenses incurred by former players for conditions acquired as a result of playing football, investigators say the players filed scores of false claims in exchange for kickbacks of up to $10,000 per claim.
Prosecutors say the fraudulent claims generally involved the purchase of expensive medical equipment that cost between $40,000 and $50,000. Among the equipment the players sought reimbursement for included hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, ultrasound machines for use in women’s health, and electromagnetic therapy machines for horses.
In addition to filing the claims themselves, prosecutors say the players produced supporting paperwork that was also fraudulent, including invoices, prescriptions, and letters of medical necessity. A few players allegedly went so far as to call in and check on the fraudulent claims while pretending to be other players.
Last week saw prosecutors charge one former player 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. Three more players 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. Four other players 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, while two more former players were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud.
The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.