Ex-NFL player sentenced for $2.9 million insurance fraud

A former National Football League (NFL) player was sentenced to five years in prison for orchestrating a nationwide scheme to defraud a health care benefit program for retired NFL players.  

According to Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. and documents filed in court, Robert McCune, 42, of Riverdale, Georgia, defrauded the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan (the Plan).

The Plan was established pursuant to the NFL’s 2006 collective bargaining agreement.

It provided former players, their spouses and their dependents, up to a maximum of $350,000 per player tax-free reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical care expenses that were not covered by insurance.

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.

Thirteen other defendants have been sentenced for their participation in the nationwide scheme:

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