Former All-Pro running back Clinton Portis was sentenced Thursday (Jan. 6) to six months in federal prison for participating in a scheme to defraud a health care benefit programs for retired NFL veterans, CBS Sports reports.
Portis, who played nine seasons in the NFL for Washington and Denver, pleaded guilty in September and faced up to 10 years behind bars.
Court documents accused Portis of submitting false and fraudulent claims to the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, which helps retired players cover medical expenses. He was charged with submitting false claims totaling $99,624 in benefits over a two-month span for medical equipment that had not been provided.
According to ESPN, Portis, 40, was involved in a crime ring of ex-NFL players who filed fraudulent reimbursement claims totaling about $2.9 million. Prosecutors say that former NFL linebacker Robert McCune was the ring leader. He pleaded guilty to 13 counts of health care fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft. So far, 15 former players have pleaded guilty.
Prosecutors wanted a longer sentence, between 10 and 16 months, against Portis, CBS Sports reported, citing U.S. District Court filings. Portis’ attorney had requested a sentence of time served instead of prison time. Portis underscored to the court that he has several minor children.