A nationwide fraud on a healthcare benefit program for retired NFL players was recently exposed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). All told, ten former players have been officially charged for their role in the fraud; more could be pending.
According to the charging documents roughly $3.9 million of fraudulent claims were filed. Of that, $3.4 billion were paid out between 2017 and 2018. U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr., for the Eastern District of Kentucky, released a statement about the situation.
“The defendants are alleged to have developed and executed a fraudulent scheme to undermine a health care benefit plan established by the NFL – one established to help their former teammates and colleagues pay for legitimate medical expenses,” said Duncan. “The defendants allegedly submitted false claims to the plan and obtained money for expensive medical equipment that was never purchased or received, depriving that plan of valuable resources to help others meet their medical needs.”
The Insurance Journal reports that all kinds of medical equipment was claimed but never actually purchased. “The expensive medical equipment included hyperbaric oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, ultrasound machines designed for use by a doctor’s office to conduct women’s health examinations and electromagnetic therapy devices designed for use on horses,” writes the Journal.
The full details of the case have yet to be released, but the Insurance Journal reports that the scheme involved defendants submitting false medical insurance claims that ranged from $40,000 to $50,000 per claim. It’s likely that more people will be charged in this scheme in the near future. As of now, no current NFL players have been connected to the scandal.