NFL Alleges Widespread Fraud In False Claims To Head Injury Fund
The NFL has “asked a federal judge to appoint a special investigator to probe what it describes as a widespread fraud that has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in false claims to a fund meant to compensate former players for head injuries,” according to Andrew Beaton of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The motion “alleges fraudulent schemes by doctors, lawyers and players to illicitly tap the uncapped fund, which is potentially valued” around $1B. The NFL has “so far funded” more than $227M in claims. The motion states that an independent administrator in the case has “recommended that more than 400 claims be rejected because of fraud.” That amounts to 23% of the total claims submitted and has a “potential value of hundreds of millions of dollars based on the claims already awarded.” The NFL has “faced accusations that it has dragged its feet in paying players," as attorneys repping former players last month accused the league of "shirking its responsibilities to play players and, in other instances, taking too long to review claims.” The league “argues that the long wait time for reviewing claims is the result of the growing need to closely evaluate all of the cases because of the crooked ones.” The NFL also asks that the special investigator be “given subpoena power and be allowed to assist with recommendations about which doctors and lawyers should be referred to disciplinary boards and federal authorities” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/14). In N.Y., Ken Belson noted that as of April 9, the settlement administrator had “received 1,753 claims from the more than 20,000 retired players who registered.” Of those claims, “233 have been approved” for more than $227M, “before appeals and deductions.” Most of the claims paid so far were for players with ALS, Parkinson’s disease and CTE (N.Y. TIMES, 4/14).