Former NFL player sentenced to 5 years in healthcare fraud scheme

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– Former National Football League linebacker Robert McCune was sentenced on Wednesday to five years in prison for orchestrating a scheme to defraud the healthcare benefits plan for retired NFL players, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

McCune, 42, joins 13 co-defendants already sentenced for their roles in a nationwide scheme involving some $3 million in false medical claims under the plan, established for retired players and their families under the NFL’s 2006 collective bargaining agreement.

McCune, who was arrested and charged in the case in December 2019, pleaded guilty to 12 counts of healthcare fraud, 10 counts of wire fraud, three counts of identity theft and conspiracy to commit healthcare and wife fraud, according to the DOJ.

Court documents show McCune submitted false claims to the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account plan on his own behalf and for dozens of other former NFL players in 2017 and 2018.

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Those claims typically sought reimbursement of $40,000 or more for costly medical equipment such as hyperbaric oxygen chambers, ultrasound machines and electromagnetic therapy devices, but none of the equipment was ever actually purchased, the DOJ said.

McCune, of Riverdale, Georgia, played college football at Louisville before he was picked up by the Washington Redskins in the 2005 NFL draft. He also played for the Miami Dolphins, the Baltimore Ravens and the Cleveland Browns before finishing his pro career in 2013 with the Canadian Football League.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Richard Chang)