Jameel Cook, a member of the 2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl winning team, has been convicted of stealing $105,000 from the NFLPA Health Reimbursement Fund.
The Harris County (Texas) District Attorney’s Office announced the conviction on Wednesday.
According to the AP via USA Today Sports, Cook, 40, “allegedly submitted false claims for benefits from the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Health Reimbursement Account.” Prosecutors claim that Cook submitted 30 fraudulent claims to NFLPA Fund from March 2017 to September 2017.
The former Buc and Texan was given ten years of probation and ordered to pay back the stolen funds.
“He stole from the very fund his fellow former players depend on for help,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said in a statement. “And he has now fallen from professional football glory to the ranks of felons.”
According to USA Today Sports:
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.
Horn also delivered a sharp rebuke to Cook on Wednesday.
“He earned fame and great accolades in a career most could only dream of, and should have been role model,” Horn said. “Instead, he let down everyone around him by defrauding a plan set up for all players and taking money that wasn’t his.”
In addition to probation and having to pay back the fine, Cook will have to complete 160 hours of community service and pay $1200.
Cook played fullback for the Buccaneers and Texans from 2001-2008. During that time, he amassed 43 rushing yards, 510 receiving yards, and scored three touchdowns.
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