Former Detroit Lions player, 9 others accused of health care fraud

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2019 | White Collar Crimes

Ceandris “C.C.” Brown was last in the NFL a decade ago when the safety was with the Detroit Lions. He also played with the Texans and Giants.

Brown is one of 10 former NFL players charged with wire fraud, health care fraud and more for their alleged participation in a scheme to submit false claims to a health care plan for reimbursements for expensive equipment that was never purchased.

Other players facing fraud charges include former Redskins star running back Clinton Portis, former four-time Pro Bowl receiver Joe Horn of the Saints, former first-round draft pick and Pro Bowler Carlos Rogers and others.

According to the FBI, the equipment the former players billed the NFL’s health care program included hyperbaric devices, ultrasound equipment and electromagnetic therapy devices typically used on horses. The claims typically ranged from $40,000 to $50,000 each, the Justice Department said, and included fabricated documentation such as invoices, letters of medical necessity and prescriptions.

Prosecutors say some of those indicted were “ringleaders” who recruited others to participate in the scheme in exchange for bribes and kickbacks.

Prosecutors also allege that more than $3.9 million in false claims were filed and that more than $3.4 million was paid out by the Gene Upshaw National Football League Health Reimbursement Account Plan. The payouts were between June 2017 through December of last year, the DOJ says.

Others charged with participation include Robert McCune, former Redskins linebacker; John Eubanks, former Redskins corner; former Chiefs receiver Tamarick Vanover; former Giants safety James Butler; as well as Fred Bennett, Etric Pruitt and Correll Buckhalter.

Anyone facing fraud allegations should decline to speak to prosecutors and investigators until they have spoken with an attorney experienced in health care fraud and wire fraud defense.