LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A 12th former NFL player has admitted to participating in a multimillion-dollar scheme to defraud the league’s health care benefit program.
Former Washington Football Team and San Francisco 49ers cornerback Carlos Rogers pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Lexington, Kentucky, to one charge of conspiring to defraud a program set up to reimburse former players for out-of-pocket medical expenses, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.
Prosecutors allege the players targeted the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan. It provides tax-free reimbursement of out-of-pocket medical care expenses that were not covered by insurance and that were incurred by former players, their spouses and dependents.
Indictments say a group of former players defrauded the plan by submitting false claims for expensive medical equipment, including devices used on horses. In reality, they had never purchased or received the medical equipment, prosecutors said.
The charges were consolidated in Kentucky because the fraudulent claims were processed through an insurance data center in Lexington. authorities said.
In his plea agreement, Rogers admitted to helping recruit other former players to join the scheme and provided identifying information about them to others to use in claims.
Rogers played 10 seasons in the NFL and was selected for the Pro Bowl in 2011 while he was with the 49ers. He also played for the then-Oakland Raiders. Rogers is set to be sentenced in March.
Ceandris Brown, the only former player who has been sentenced for the scheme so far, has been ordered to serve about a year in jail and must pay more than $84,000 in restitution to the health fund.
Three other former players, including ex-Washington running back Clinton Portis, are scheduled for trial in April after they pleaded not guilty.