Former Washington RB Clinton Portis sentenced to 6 months in prison for health care fraud

29 August 2015: Former Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis broadcasts from the field at M&T Bank Stadium, in Baltimore, MD. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Clinton Portis is one of 15 former NFL players to plead guilty to defrauding an NFL health care program. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Former NFL running back Clinton Portis was sentenced on Thursday to six months in prison and six additional months of home confinement for his role in a scheme defrauding am NFL health care program, according to ESPN's John Keim.

Portis faced a maximum of 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in September. The former Denver Broncos and Washington Football Team Pro Bowler also agreed to pay restitution to the health care plan he defrauded, a reported sum of nearly $100,000.

Before the guilty plea, Portis had been facing a retrial after his first trial resulted in a hung jury. The Department of Justice reportedly said it was seeking the higher end of a 10-to-16 month sentencing guideline because Portis denied his guilt only until the retrial.

What Clinton Portis and other ex-NFL players allegedly did

In the original indictment, a group of former NFL players were accused of submitting false claims to the NFL's Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account, a program set up to reimburse up to $350,000 in medical expenses for retired players and their families.

Portis was among the players who were accused of requesting reimbursement for expensive medical equipment that was never purchased, such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultrasound machines that are typically used on pregnant women and electromagnetic therapy devices used on horses.

The ringleaders would allegedly find ex-players eligible for the program and offer to submit claims, fabricating documents and prescriptions in exchange for kickbacks. The total amount of alleged fraud: $2.9 million.

What other players were involved in NFL health care fraud?

Portis is one of 15 former players to plead guilty to defrauding the NFL, with some facing far more serious legal repercussions.

Former linebacker Robert McCune, a teammate of Portis in Washington, was seen as the ringleader of the scheme. He now reportedly faces up to life in prison and will likely see a lengthy sentence regardless after pleading guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

Per ESPN, the other former players to plead guilty are Joe Horn, Carlos Rogers, Correll Buckhalter, James Butler, Ceandris Brown, John Eubanks, Antwan Odom, Etric Pruitt, Darrell Reid, Anthony Montgomery, Frederick Bennett and Reche Caldwell, who was killed in 2020.