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Three former National Football League (NFL) players have pleaded guilty for their roles in a nationwide scheme to defraud a health care benefit program for retired NFL players. A total of 15 defendants have pleaded guilty in connection with this scheme.

Clinton Portis, 40, of Fort Mill, South Carolina, and Tamarick Vanover, 47, of Tallahassee, Florida, pleaded guilty on Friday, Sept. 3. Robert McCune, 40, of Riverdale, Georgia, pleaded guilty on Aug. 24. The former players admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan (the Plan). The Plan was established pursuant to the NFL’s 2006 collective bargaining agreement and provided for 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 their dependents – up to a maximum of $350,000 per player.

According to court documents, Portis caused the submission of false and fraudulent claims to the Plan on his behalf over a two-month period, obtaining $99,264 in benefits for expensive medical equipment that was not actually provided. Vanover recruited three other former NFL players into the fraudulent scheme and assisted them in causing false and fraudulent claims to be submitted to the Plan, obtaining $159,510 for expensive medical equipment that was not actually provided. McCune orchestrated the nationwide fraud, which resulted in approximately $2.9 million in false and fraudulent claims being submitted to the Plan and the Plan paying out approximately $2.5 million on those claims between June 2017 and April 2018.

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Portis and Vanover pleaded guilty two days after a trial against them resulted in a hung jury and a mistrial on certain counts against Vanover. McCune, the third defendant in that trial, pleaded guilty to all charges against him on the second day of trial. A retrial on the charges against Portis and Vanover had been scheduled to begin today.

Portis and Vanover were originally indicted, along with McCune and seven other defendants, in the Eastern District of Kentucky in December 2019 for their roles in the fraud. Since the initial charges were announced, five additional retired NFL players were charged in the scheme. All 12 of the other defendants charged have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud: Joseph Horn, Correll Buckhalter, Carlos Rogers, James Butler, Etric Pruitt, Ceandris Brown, John Eubanks, Antwan Odom, Darrell Reid, Anthony Montgomery, Fredrick Bennett, and Donald “Reche” Caldwell, who passed away in June 2020.

Portis and Vanover pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and agreed to pay full restitution to the Plan. Portis is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 6, 2022, and Vanover is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 22, 2022. They each face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

McCune pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, 13 counts of health care fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud, and three counts of aggravated identity theft. McCune is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and health care fraud, 10 years for each count of health care fraud, 20 years for each count of wire fraud, and two years for each count of aggravated identity theft.

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2 Teens Fatally Shot In A Houston Apartment Parking Lot

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Harris County police are investigating a shooting at a Houston apartment complex that left two teens dead and another injured.

The shooting happened Friday night around 10:40 p.m. on the 300 block of Airtex Drive when officers responded to a shooting call.

Upon arrival they found 3 males suffering from gunshot wounds. All three males were transported to an area hospital where two of the males succumbed to their injuries. They were 17 years old. The third victim is expected to survive.

During the preliminary investigation officers learned that multiple people were in the parking lot when numerous shots were fired.

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No suspect(s) have been arrested at this time.

This investigation remains ongoing.



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2 Teens Fatally Shot In A Houston Apartment Parking Lot


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1 Person Dies, 22 Hospitalized As Listeria Outbreak Spreads To Ten States

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A Listeria outbreak has now infected 23 people throughout in 10 various states. One person from Illinois has died as a result. All but one of the individuals had to be hospitalized, states the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency reported that Listeria is a sickness that usually affects pregnant women, newborns, other adults, and people with weakened immune systems. It is unusual for those who aren’t in one of these groups to get the illness. To add, antibiotics are used if a person is infected.

Symptoms are different, depending on the person and where they have been affected in their body. A small percentage of cases can lead to a fever or diarrhea.

For those with severe cases, they may experience invasive listeriosis which means bacteria extends pass the gut. If a woman is pregnant, she may experience muscle aches and fatigue. Headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions are also symptoms.

Although it usually doesn’t cause major symptoms in pregnant women, Listeria can cause fetuses and newborn babies to become very sick. It can result in miscarriage, stillbirth, premature delivery, or life-threatening infection in a newborn.

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During the recent outbreak, five pregnant women became ill and suffered a miscarriage.

For people who are 65 or older, they could develop an infection in the bloodstream or brain. They may also experience problems with their joints, bones, chest, and abdomen.

Listeria outbreaks are almost always related to food contamination products. The CDC hasn’t validated where the outbreak started. However, almost all of the people who had gotten sick reside in or had gone to Florida about a month prior to becoming ill. It’s uncertain if that is a coincidence.



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1 Person Dies, 22 Hospitalized As Listeria Outbreak Spreads To Ten States


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Rowlett Man Pleads Guilty To Stalking And Killing His Former Girlfriend

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35-year-old Andrew Charles Beard, from Rowlett, Texas, cyberstalked, shot, and fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend. It occurred as the two were going through a custody battle.

Last week, Beard pleaded guilty to two violent federal crimes. He had been charged with cyberstalking using a dangerous weapon resulting in death and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Beard will receive his punishment on October 6 and could receive two life sentences.

Authorities say that he admitted to stalking and killing his ex-girlfriend, Alyssa Burkett, 24. It happened in a parking lot in Carrollton on October 2, 2020. Beard wanted to have custody of the couple’s daughter who was a 1-year-old at the time.

Beard confessed to placing a GPS tracker inside of Burkett’s vehicle. He then trailed her to her apartment where he shot her in the head.

Burkett was able to get to a parking lot that was nearby. However, Beard found her and stabbed her 13 times.

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Burkett’s mother and colleagues informed authorities that she had been scared of Beard. She was worried that he had been following her and felt like he may kill her. Burkett’s boyfriend added that Beard seemed to be “overly obsessed” with Burkett and their daughter.

“This was a brutal, bloody crime. Ms. Burkett’s daughter is now suffering twin tragedies. Her mother is deceased, and her father is an admitted murderer. We pray for strength for this child and the rest of her family…” said U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham.



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Rowlett Man Pleads Guilty To Stalking And Killing His Former Girlfriend


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