Joe Horn, Clinton Portis & Ragin’ Cajun C.C. Brown Involved in Medical Fraud Scheme
New Orleans Saints Hall of Famer Joe Horn is among a dozen former NFL players involved in an alleged nationwide fraud scheme through a health care benefit program for retired NFL players.
In addition to Horn, former Louisiana Ragin' Cajun and Houston Texans safety Ceandris (C.C.) Brown, former Pro Bowl running back Clinton Portis, former Georgia Tech and New York Giants safety James Butler, as well as NFL alums Robert McCune, John Eubanks, Tamarick Vanover, Carlos Rogers, Fredrick Bennett, Correll Buckhalter, Etric Pruitt, and Reche Caldwell have all been identified for involvement in the scheme.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice, Horn and Caldwell have not yet been charged, but "the government has filed notice that it intends to file criminal informations" against both parties.
The other ten retired players have all been charged for their alleged roles in the scheme.
Per the charging documents, the 12 men submitted over $3.9 million in false and fraudulent claims to a medical Plan that allegedly paid out over $3.4 million on those claims.
“Ten former NFL players allegedly committed a brazen, multi-million-dollar fraud on a health care plan meant to help their former teammates and other retired players pay legitimate, out-of-pocket medical expenses,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski said in a release from the U.S. Department of Justice. “Today’s indictments underscore that whoever you are, if you loot health care programs to line your own pockets, you will be held accountable by the Department of Justice.”
“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 U.S. Attorney Robert M. Duncan Jr., for the Eastern District of Kentucky in the same release. “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. We have prioritized the investigation and prosecution of health care fraud in our office, and we appreciate the partnership we share with the Criminal Division and the FBI in pursuing these important matters.”
“This investigation serves as an illustration of the rampant and deliberate scams against health care plans occurring daily throughout the country,” explained FBI Special Agent in Charge George L. Piro of the Miami Field Office in the release. “In this case, these fraudsters pocketed money from the Gene Upshaw National Football League Health Reimbursement Account Plan that was intended for former NFL players who are ill or infirm. Over 20 FBI field offices participated in this investigation which demonstrates the level of commitment we have to rooting out this type of fraud.”
While it appears Horn will be charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, the fact his name was not in the FBI's indictment puts the possibility of a negotiated plea deal in play.
Horn, 47, was a 4-time Pro Bowler for the Saints between 2000-2006, and was inducted into the team's Hall of Fame. He currently is second in team history in catches (523) and receiving yards (7,622).
Brown, 36, played for the Ragin' Cajuns from in the early to mid-2000s, earning All-Sun Belt Honors in 2003 and 2004.
He was drafted in the 6th round by the Houston Texans in 2005.