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Clinton Portis Surrenders After Charges of Defrauding NFL Health Care Program

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 13, 2019

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 3: Clinton Portis #26 of the Washington Redskins watches the action against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on October 3, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

The United States Department of Justice confirmed former NFL running back Clinton Portis surrendered to authorities in North Carolina on Friday after being indicted Thursday on charges related to the alleged fraud of the league's health care program for retired players.

Fox 5 DC reported the update. Joe Bruno of WSOC provided further details from Portis' first court appearance in the case Friday afternoon:

Joe Bruno @JoeBrunoWSOC9

Portis is facing conspiracy, wire fraud and healthcare fraud charges. He surrendered to the FBI this morning. His attorney appointed to him today indicated Portis will later seek additional travel permission to NC and FL so he can visit his children @wsoctv

The 38-year-old Mississippi native is one of 12 former NFL players accused of making a total of $3.9 million in fraudulent claims to the program with more than $3.4 million paid out as part of the alleged scheme, per Eric Levenson, Tammy Kupperman and Jill Martin of CNN.

Indictments filed in the case state the players submitted false claims for expensive medical equipment worth up to $50,000 using "fabricated invoices, prescriptions and letters of medical necessity," and some recruited other retired players to take part, according to the CNN report.

Assistant attorney general Brian Benczkowski said health insurance company Cigna alerted authorities to the questionable activity and the NFL was made aware of the charges before they became public Thursday.

Benczkowski said the 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," per CNN.

Portis played nine years in the NFL, seven with the Washington Redskins and two with the Denver Broncos, who selected him in the second round of the 2002 draft. He last played in 2010 and formally retired from football in 2012.

Mark Dycio, the former running back's lawyer, released a statement Thursday to Fox 5 DC about the charges.

"Clinton Portis had no knowledge that his participation in what he believed to be an NFL sanctioned medical reimbursement insurance program was illegal," it read. "He is completely taken aback by the indictment and will move forward with the process of clearing his good name and those of his fellow NFL alumni."

Portis earned an estimated $43.1 million during his NFL career, but he filed for bankruptcy in 2015.