Clinton Portis surrendered to authorities in Charlotte on Friday after being charged in a scheme that allegedly defrauded the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account of nearly $4 million.
Portis surrenders to FBI in fraud scheme
Portis, 38, was one of 12 former NFL players to be charged in two separate indictments by the U.S. Justice Department on Thursday. The former Washington Redskins running back self-surrendered Friday morning and made an initial appearance in front of the judge, the Department of Justice told Fox 5 in D.C.
The judge set Portis’ release at $25,000 and required him to surrender his passport and abide by travel restrictions, per Joe Bruno of WSOC-TV in Charlotte.
Portis is facing conspiracy, wire fraud and healthcare fraud charges. He surrendered to the FBI this morning. His attorney appointed to him today indicated Portis will later seek additional travel permission to NC and FL so he can visit his children @wsoctv
— Joe Bruno (@JoeBrunoWSOC9) December 13, 2019
12 charged in health reimbursement scheme
Clinton Portis, Carlos Rogers, Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Ceandris Brown, James Butler, Frederick Bennett, Etric Pruitt and Correll Buckhalter were charged in two separate indictments in the scheme. Joe Horn and Reche Caldwell will reportedly be charged as well.
According to the DOJ, the former athletes submitted false claims based on fabricated supporting documents to the account for expensive medical equipment that was never purchased. The account was designed to cover medical expenses for ex-players after their veterans insurance ran out.
Ringleaders allegedly received “kickbacks” and bribes that went as high as $10,000. Claims were between $40,000 and $50,000, submitted between June 2017 and December 2018. The players submitted $3.9 million in false claims, $3.4 million of which was paid out, per the indictment.
Lawyer: Portis had ‘no knowledge’
Portis’ lawyer released a statement to Fox 5 on Thursday evening after the indictment was announced.
“Clinton Portis had no knowledge that his participation in what he believed to be an NFL sanctioned medical reimbursement insurance program was illegal. He is completely taken aback by the indictment and will move forward with the process of clearing his good name and those of his fellow NFL alumni.”
Portis played nine seasons from 2002 through 2010 and retired 77 rushing yards shy of a clean 10,000. He was the 51st overall pick by the Denver Broncos in the 2002 NFL draft and was named to two Pro Bowl teams. According to Spotrac, Portis earned more than $43 million over his nine-year career.
Sports Illustrated caught up with Portis in 2017 for its annual “Where are they now?” issue. He filed for bankruptcy in 2015, alleging investors defrauded him, and worried about the impact concussions may have had on his health. Per SI, he rarely sought medical help and was wary of being evaluated so that he could receive the benefits available for former players.
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