A group of 10 former N.F.L. players, including former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, were accused of defrauding one of the league’s health care benefit programs out of $3.4 million for phony purchases of medical equipment, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Brian A. Benczkowski, assistant attorney general for the criminal division of the United States Department of Justice, said at a news conference that the players were involved in a scheme to take advantage of a program for retired players that was established by the league and N.F.L. players’ union in 2006.
Claims totaling $3.9 million were filed and $3.4 million was reimbursed as part of a system that involved kickbacks and the recruiting of players to take part, Benczkowski said. The individual claims averaged $40,000 to $50,000 each.
Benczkowski said there was no evidence of current players or doctors taking part in the scheme, and that the investigation will continue and may expand to include others.
Portis played nine seasons in the N.F.L., including seven with the Washington Redskins.
Indictments filed in Kentucky named Carlos Rogers, a defensive back for the Redskins who last played in 2014, Correll Buckhalter, a running back who spent five seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, and several other players, including some who played in fewer than 10 N.F.L. games.
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