Former Bears quarterback Shane Matthews was sentenced to three months in prison for his involvement in a $20 million health care fraud conspiracy in Florida, the Miami Herald reports.
Matthews had a marketing role with a company run by former Florida Gators teammate and NFL player Monty Grow, who now faces up to 20 years in prison after being convicted Monday of swindling money from a federal program that provides medical insurance to military veterans.
The jury unanimously convicted Grow of a healthcare fraud conspiracy for bilking $20 million from the TRICARE program for military members, veterans and their families. He was also convicted of conspiring to receive and pay kickbacks for referring hundreds of military beneficiaries to the Pompano Beach-based pharmacy, Patient Care America, as well as of money laundering.
Matthews, 47, worked for the marketing arm of Grow’s company and was paid $440,000 for lining up sales representatives, according to the report.
Matthews released a statement about his involvement:
“In early 2015, I was contacted by my former teammate and friend, Monty Grow regarding a position with his company as a pharmaceutical marketing representative. I took the position, which I had no reason to believe was anything other than a legitimate part-time job.
Unsuspecting, I worked for MGTEN for a short period of time. This job offered me the flexibility I needed to pursue my true passion, which is coaching high school football.
In the spring of 2016, I was approached by the authorities and informed that this was, indeed, a fraudulent operation. Stunned by this revelation, I immediately cooperated with the authorities and offered to give back every cent of my compensation.
I deeply regret getting involved with Mr. Grow’s business. My biggest mistake was not asking more questions in regards to his business practices. I have learned a valuable lesson in the importance of prudent decision making. Going forward, I will be sure to share this experience with the young men I coach so that they might avoid the pitfalls of a mistake this costly.
I accept full responsibility for my role in this operation. The punishment of a brief incarceration pales in comparison to the embarrassment this has caused me, my family, my friends, my team, and the Gator Nation. For letting down all those who have supported me over the years, I offer my sincerest apologies.”
Matthews played four seasons as a backup quarterback with the Bears. He also played a year with both the Redskins and Bills before retiring in 2004.
Matthews son, Luke, is a senior quarterback at Gainesville High School and has been drawing some college recruiting interest.
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