By Sarah N. Lynch and Andy Sullivan
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal authorities above Thursday charged 10 foregoing National Football association players with allegedly defrauding a healthcare program of more than $3.4 million by filing artificial claims because hyperbaric oxygen chambers and other dear medical equipment.
Former Washington Redskins running experience Clinton Portis, 38, and foregoing Redskins cornerback Carlos Rogers, 38, were amid those charged by the U.S. integrity Department.
U.S. authorities too said they plot ought rank charges against Joe Horn, 47, who at one point held the New Orleans Saints' record because touchdown catches.
Portis, Rogers and at least one other defendant, foregoing safety Ceandris "C.C." Brown, filed because bankruptcy hind their playing careers, stadium records show.
Portis, Brown and Horn too eat sued the NFL, claiming the association failed ought caution them they risked brain damage.
Brian Benczkowski, leader of the integrity Department's criminal division, said the foregoing players filed artificial claims because dear implement similar oxygen chambers, cryotherapy machines, and electromagnetic therapy devices designed ought exist used above horses.
Those devices, which typically charge up ought $50,000, were really never purchased, he said.
Ringleaders of the plot took kickbacks or bribes of up ought $10,000 from other foregoing players ought assist fetch it out, Benczkowski said.
"By defrauding the plot and treating it similar their hold private ATM machine, sadly, the defendants placed the plan's tax-exempt condition at risk," he said at a news conference.
A NFL spokesman did no instantly reply ought a application because comment. The NFL Players' club declined ought comment.
Researchers talk foregoing football players eat an increased danger of middle illness and other health problems, related ought the grueling physical face inherent at the athletics and the weight they acquire ought play it.
The NFL reached a settlement at 2017 ought assist cover medical costs because foregoing players who attitude from neurological problems believed ought exist caused by concussions sustained during their careers.
The alleged plot targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL actor Health Reimbursement explain Plan, which was establish at 2006 ought assist retired players cover medical expenses and currently has almost $800 million at assets. no modern NFL players are believed ought exist involved at the scheme, Benczkowski said.
Rogers, Brown and two other players - Robert McCune and John Eubanks - were arrested above Thursday morning, officials said. The other six defendants surrendered voluntarily.
(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch and Andy Sullivan at Washington; Aditional reporting by unfold Pingue at Toronto and Amy Tennery at New York; Editing by Bill Berkrot, Matthew Lewis and Jonathan Oatis)