HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A former Texans player was convicted of stealing $105,000 from other players.
Jameel Antwon Cook, 40, has been sentenced to ten years of probation, as well as ordered to repay the stolen money, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced on Wednesday.
Cook played nine seasons in the NFL including two with the Texans.
The D.A.'s Office says he submitted false claims for medical benefits from the Gene Upshaw NFL Player Plan, a health-reimbursement account.
The account is for reimbursing former players for certain medical expenses and out of pocket health-insurance premiums.
“He stole from the very fund his fellow former players depend on for help,” Ogg said. “And he has now fallen from professional football glory to the ranks of felons.”
Between March 2016 and September 2017, Cook submitted 30 claims to the plan, according to documents filed by Special Assistant District Attorney Jason Horn.
Most of the claims were for compensation for insurance premiums, which Cook claimed to have paid for himself or his family.
“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.”
Cook pleaded guilty to Securing the Execution of Documents by Deception, a third-degree felony.
In addition to ten years of probation and having to pay back the $105,000, he was sentenced to 160 hours of community service and fined $1,200.
Cook played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2001 to 2005 before joining the Texans in 2006. He returned to the Bucs in 2008 before finishing his career in 2009.
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