Pro soccer TV analyst pleads guilty to drug kickback scheme

NEWARK, N.J. – A TV analyst for Major League Soccer’s Philadelphia Union has pleaded guilty to receiving nearly $500,000 in kickbacks for filling prescriptions for medication.

Peter Pappas pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health fraud Tuesday in federal court in Newark. The Union announced hours later that his contract had been terminated.

Pappas works in pharmaceuticals. He admitted he was recruited by a marketing company paid by pharmacies to refer people whose insurance paid for compounded medication, including pain creams.

He recruited others to join the scheme. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

The former goalkeeper on the defunct Philadelphia Kixx indoor soccer team had been the Union’s TV analyst since 2013. He says online he’s a district sales manager for New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company Celgene.

Neither Celgene nor Pappas’ attorneys returned messages seeking comment