(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
A former National Football League player has received a five-year prison sentence for his “ring leader” role in a health insurance scheme.
Robert McCune, 42, has been sentenced to five years in prison for “orchestrating a nationwide scheme to defraud a health care benefit program for retired NFL players,” according to the United States Department of Justice.
According to the DOJ, the former NFL linebacker defrauded the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan.
McCune was the alleged ring leader of a scheme that included several former NFL players.
The Department of Justice just announced that former NFL player, Robert McCune, has been sentenced to five years in prison for submitting 68 false and fraudulent claims for himself and others totaling $2.9M to the NFL’s retired players’ healthcare system.
— Alicia Jessop (@RulingSports) February 9, 2022
From the DOJ:
Court documents show that McCune submitted false and fraudulent claims to the Plan on his own behalf and on behalf of dozens of other former NFL players. Between June 5, 2017, and April 12, 2018, he submitted 68 claims for 51 other players. The claims typically sought reimbursement of $40,000 or more for expensive medical equipment such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultrasound machines and electromagnetic therapy devices. None of the medical equipment described in the claims was ever purchased or received. In total, McCune and his co-conspirators submitted approximately $2.9 million in fraudulent claims to the Plan.
Court documents further show that McCune obtained identifying information for other participants in the Plan, including the player’s name, insurance identification number, social security number, mailing address and/or date of birth. In exchange for submitting the false and fraudulent claims, McCune demanded kickbacks and bribes in the thousands of dollars for each claim submitted.
McCune pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and wire fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, 12 counts of health care fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.
There were 13 other defendants sentenced:
John Eubanks, 38, of Cleveland, Mississippi, was sentenced to 18 months in prison;
Tamarick Vanover, 47, of Tallahassee, Florida, and Ceandris Brown, 39, of Iowa Colony, Texas, were each sentenced to a year and a day in prison;
Correll Buckhalter, 43, of Colleyville, Texas, was sentenced to 10 months in prison, followed by 300 days’ home detention;
Clinton Portis, 40, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by 180 days’ home detention;
Etric Pruitt, 40, of Theodore, Alabama, was sentenced to three months in prison, followed by 180 days’ home detention;
James Butler, 39, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to two months in prison, followed by 180 days’ home detention;
Carlos Rogers, 40, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was sentenced to 180 days’ home detention and 400 hours of community service;
Anthony Montgomery, 37, of Cleveland, Ohio; Antwan Odom, 40, of Irvington, Alabama; Darrell Reid, 39, of Farmingdale, New Jersey; and Fredrick Bennett, 38, of Port Wentworth, Georgia, were each sentenced to 180 days’ home detention and 240 hours of community service; and
Joe Horn, 50, of Columbia, South Carolina, was sentenced to 200 hours of community service.
The case was investigated by the FBI.
McCune played in the NFL from 2005-09. He ended his professional football career in the Canadian Football League.