Former NFL star Clinton Portis sentenced to six months in prison for fraud

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After pleading guilty to his role in a national program to defraud the NFL’s health benefits program for league veterans, former All-Pro running back Clinton Portis was sentenced to six months in jail Thursday. .

Federal prosecutors had previously recommended a steep sentence – between 10 and 16 months in prison – as well as a fine for Portis’ involvement in the fraud case. This is according to documents filed with the United States District Court by CBS Sports.

Portis, 40, best known as a pro player for the Washington football team from 2004-2010, falsely obtained nearly $ 100,000 in a criminal ring that sought more than $ 2.8 million through bogus refund claims. Former NFL linebacker Robert McCune is said to have orchestrated the program, which targeted a reimbursement account set up to help retired players cover medical bills, but Portis admitted in August that he had made two false claims and separate fraudulent acts as part of the transaction.

Portis’ lawyer filed a sentencing memorandum on December 30 asking for a “time served” sentence instead of incarceration, meaning he would face no jail time after Thursday’s conviction. Other defendants, including Antwan Odom, former NFL students Carlos Rogers and Joe Horn, have avoided incarceration despite similar behavior in the program, according to Portis’ filing. The retired Washington star also notes that he now has several underage children, including twin babies born in August, who are dependent on him.

Portis, who had already filed for bankruptcy in 2015, has also lost most of his business opportunities since his initial indictment in December 2019, his case argues, noting that he lost a job in broadcasting with the football team. Washington – as well as future sports betting. opportunities with Fox and Bleacher Report – due to its legal status. His dossier includes nearly 60 letters from peers defending his character, including former NFL veterans Edgerrin James, London Fletcher and Takeo Spikes; as well as the owners of the Washington football team, Daniel and Tanya Snyder.

“(We) were shocked when Clinton was indicted,” the Snyders wrote, “(no) because Clinton got involved in something where others didn’t have his best interests in mind, but because Clinton is the opposite of a criminal. We fully support Clinton. He told us how much he regrets getting involved in what he should have known was not legitimate. And he suffered deeply for it. “

In their own Dec. 30 court file, federal lawyers argue that a “sentence at the high end of the range (10-16 months) is appropriate.” Portis was approached by FBI agents about his alleged involvement in the 2019 fraud scheme, but made no statement, the record shows, and he initially testified and denied any wrongdoing in August 2021, no. ‘admitting that a deliberate implication before a retrial the following week. .

“Finally,” federal prosecutors argue, “it was only near sentencing that Portis paid off the (NFL repayment plan). The United States understands that on December 20, 2021, Portis Wired $ 99,264 to the plan to pay off the plan for (his) false and fraudulent claims …. Healthcare fraud like the one committed by Portis is a big contributor to the inflated cost of healthcare in this country. The onus is on the court to send a strong and clear message to the public that such a breach of the trust that health care plans place in those they seek to help cannot and will not be tolerated. “

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