Ex-NFL RB Clinton Portis Pleads Guilty in Health Care Fraud Scheme

Portis admitted to filing unlawful reimbursement claims to the league’s program allowing former players to pursue funds for out-of-pocket medical care expenses that were not covered by insurance.

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Former Washington Football Team and Broncos running back Clinton Portis plead guilty to conspiracy to committing health care fraud in a nationwide scheme that included more than a dozen former NFL players.

The two-time Pro Bowler admitted to filing unlawful reimbursement claims in the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. The program allows former players to pursue funds for out-of-pocket medical care expenses that were not covered by insurance. These expenses were collected by the former football players, their spouses and their dependents with each player granted a maximum of $350,000. 

Per the U.S. Justice Department, Portis allowed others to file false claims on his behalf over a two-month period, obtaining 99,264 in benefits for medical equipment from the NFL’s plan.

However, the 40-year-old never purchased the equipment. Along with Portis, Tamarick Vanover, a former NFL wide receiver, also obtained $159,510 in benefits for medical equipment that was not provided.

Both Portis and Vanover plead guilty on Friday, two days after their trial ended in a hang jury. The two agreed to pay full restitution to the league’s plan.

Portis is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 6 while Vanover is slated for sentencing on Jan. 22. Both face maximum penalties of up to 10 years in prison. A retrial had been scheduled for Portis and Vanover on Tuesday. 

Former NFL linebacker Robert McCune, who plead guilty on Aug. 24 to charges on wire and health care fraud, organized the nationwide scheme that resulted in nearly $2.9 million in false and fraudulent claims submitted to the plan with the league’s plan paying out $2.5 million in those claims from June 2017 to April 2018, per court documents. 

Portis, Vanover and McCune, along with seven other defendants at the time, were initially charged for their roles in the fraud in December 2019. 

All 12 of the other players—Joseph Horn, Correll Buckhalter, Carlos Rodgers, James Butler, Etric Pruitt, Ceandris Brown, John Eubanks, Anmtwan Odom, Darrell Reid, Anthony Montgomery, Fredrick Bennett and Donald Caldwell—plead guilty to conspiracy of health care fraud. 

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