Ex-NFL fullback Jameel Cook convicted of stealing from NFLPA health reimbursement account
Former NFL fullback Jameel Cook was convicted of stealing $105,000 from the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan, the Harris County (Texas) District Attorney’s office announced Wednesday.
Cook, 40, was sentenced to 10 years of probation and was ordered to repay the stolen funds after he filed false medical claims, according to court documents.
“He stole from the very fund his fellow former players depend on for help,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said Wednesday in a statement. “And he has now fallen from professional football glory to the ranks of felons.”
The Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account Plan is a health reimbursement account that assists former players with three or more credited seasons of experience with medical expenses and out-of-pocket health-insurance premiums.
According to documents filed by Special Assistant District Attorney Jason Horn, Cook filed 30 claims to the Upshaw plan between March 2016 and September 2017.
The District Attorney’s office said the majority of the claims were for compensation for insurance premiums, which Cook claimed to have paid.
“He earned fame and great accolades in a career most could only dream of, and should have been role model,” Horn said Wednesday in a statement. “Instead, he let down everyone around him by defrauding a plan set up for all players and taking money that wasn’t his.”
Cook pleaded guilty to charges of securing the execution of documents by deception, a third-degree felony in Texas.
Cook was also sentenced to 160 hours of community service in addition to a fine of $1,200.
Cook played eight seasons in the NFL from 2001-08 for the Buccaneers and Texans and registered 14 carries for 43 yards, while adding 84 catches for 510 yards and three touchdowns.
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