SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former NFL player was sentenced to two years in federal prison Thursday and ordered to repay nearly $1.6 million in bogus worker’s compensation claims.
Marcus Buckley, 46, of Weatherford, Texas, submitted numerous fraudulent claims after the New York Giants initially agreed to a $300,000 settlement in 2010 for cumulative stress injuries from playing football, federal prosecutors said.
Buckley played for the Giants for seven seasons between 1993 and 2000.
He filed false invoices, false credit collection notices for late medical bills and false statements from medical providers to receive additional compensation beyond the initial settlement.
A co-defendant, claims adjuster Kimberly Jones, then arranged for about $1.59 million in worker’s compensation insurance payments to Buckley.
Buckley’s attorney, Scott Cameron, declined comment. However, he said in court documents that Buckley “has a rich history of providing for others and is deeply remorseful about his criminal conduct,” as shown in part by 14 letters to the court from his loved ones. He has no prior criminal history aside from traffic tickets.
Buckley once was an award-winning player for Texas A&M. The court documents say he is not only physically damaged from years of football but suffers from short-term memory loss. Moreover, he had an unspecified surgery in July and was rear-ended during an automobile accident in mid-December.
Buckley and Jones were indicted in 2013. She pleaded guilty in 2015 and he in 2016, both under plea agreements.
Federal probation officers had recommended an 18-month sentence for Buckley. Prosecutors sought 33 months in prison, calling it a “significant insurance fraud scheme” and noting that Buckley also engaged in money laundering. They said Buckley can receive medical care in prison.
Jones is set to be sentenced Feb. 8. She worked for Gallagher Bassett Services Inc., which handled worker’s compensation claims in California for the Giants and the team’s insurer, Pennsylvania Manufacturer’s Association Insurance Group.