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10 former NFL players facing U.S. fraud charges

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on December 12, 2019 - Duration: 01:45s

10 former NFL players facing U.S. fraud charges

Federal authorities on Thursday charged 10 former National Football League players for allegedly defrauding a healthcare program of more than $3.4 million by filing false claims for hyperbaric oxygen chambers and other expensive medical equipment.

Freddie Joyner has more.

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10 former NFL players facing U.S. fraud charges

Federal authorities on Thursday announced charges against former NFL players for fraud - Including retired Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis and former cornerback Carlos Rodgers.

Brian Benczkowski, head the Justice Department's criminal division: (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH), BRIAN BENCZKOWSKI, HEAD OF THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CRIMINAL DIVISION, SAYING: “Today we are announcing charges against 10 former National Football League players who are accused of defrauding an NFL healthcare program meant to benefit retired players and their families…” U.S. authorities said the former players filed millions of dollars of false claims for expensive equipment like oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, and electromagnetic therapy devices designed to be used on horses.

Those devices were actually never purchased, according to prosecutors.

Benczkowski said that no current NFL players are believed to be involved in the scheme, which prosecutors say targeted a health care plan designed to help retired players cover medical expenses… (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH), BRIAN BENCZKOWSKI, HEAD OF JUSTICE DEPARTMENT CRIMINAL DIVISION, SAYING: "By defrauding the plan and treating it like their own personal ATM machine, sadly, the defendants placed the plan's tax-exempt status at risk." Ringleaders of the scheme allegedly took kickbacks or bribes of up to $10,000 from other former players to help carry it out.

According to officials, Rogers and three other former players - Robert McCune, John Eubanks and Ceandris Brown - were arrested on Thursday morning.

The other six defendants surrendered voluntarily.

U.S. authorities also said they plan to file charges against Joe Horn, who at one point held the New Orleans Saints' record for touchdown catches.

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