Transcript for 10 former NFL players charged by DOJ in alleged health care fraud scheme
Today we are announcing charges. Against ten former National Football League players. Who are accused of defrauding an NFL health care program meant to benefit retired players and their families. These were players have been charged in two separate indictments with conspiracy. Wire fraud and health care fraud. For submitting fraudulent claims to the health care plan for expensive medical equipment that was never purchased. And never received. The cases have been indicted in Lexington in the eastern district of Kentucky. The charges were announcing today are merely allegations. In each of the defendants is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. The Gene Upshaw NFL player health reimbursement account plan I'll refer to as the planned throughout my remarks. Provides for tax free reimbursement. Of out of pocket medical care expenses incurred by eligible former players their spouses. And their defeat dependence. Once eligible players retire. They are not taxed on reimbursements from the plants along as those reimbursements. Are for actual medical care expenses that they've been Kirk. As outlined in the indictment a group of former players brazenly. Defrauded the plan. By seeking reimbursement for expenses. For expensive medical equipment that they never purchased. Things like hyperbaric. Oxygen chambers ultrasound machines used by doctors offices to conduct women's health exams. And even electromagnetic. Therapy devices designed for use on horses. As a result of the fraud more than three point nine million dollars in phony claims were submitted to the plan. And that plan paid out approximately 3.4 million dollars on those claims between mid 20s17. And made Tony team. The two indictments involve different players put the crimes charged were carried out in almost identical fashion. The ringleaders of the fraud recruited other eligible former players by offering to submit or assist in submitting fake claims to the plan. In exchange. The ring leaders demanded kickbacks. Ranging from a few thousand dollars to 101000 dollars or more for each fraudulent claim that they submitted. In for participant agreed to this scheme the leaders and recruiters. Obtain personal information from the players so that the information can be used to complete and submit a false claim form. On their behalf. In each case the forms submitted in support of the claim were completely. Fabricated. These included things like fake invoices from medical supply companies. And forged letters and prescriptions from medical care providers. The exact size of each claim varied but they were typically in the range of forty to 50000 dollar speech.
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