U.S. Attorney Cody Hiland announced today that a doctor and a medical sales rep had been indicted in a scheme that defrauded Tricare, the military health care program, of $12 million in a bogs prescription scheme. From a news release:
According to the indictment, local doctor Joe David May, also known as Jay May, of Alexander, rubber stamped pre-filled prescriptions for over 100 beneficiaries for which TRICARE paid $4.5 million. May received pre-filled prescriptions from Derek Clifton, also of Alexander. The indictment alleges the ringleader paid Clifton to get May to sign the prescriptions despite knowing Clifton shared his payout with May. Clifton also had May sign pre-filled prescriptions for beneficiaries solicited by Clifton himself and his own recruiters. Clifton received over $740,000 tied to May’s prescriptions, which he used to buy a car, fund his retirement account, and purchase a home.
The indictment alleges Clifton, who previously coached high school basketball, began by recruiting three former players who joined the military. Each agreed to receive drugs after being offered money, and one later received $1,200 cash hidden inside a Stetson cowboy hat. Together they received nearly $500,000 in drugs prescribed by May.
According to the indictment, May used a cell phone app to electronically sign batch after batch of pre-filled prescriptions, including signing 8 pre-filled prescriptions within just 3 minutes of receipt, 10 within 5 minutes, and 13 within 13 minutes. In the final days before TRICARE reimbursements were expected to plummet, May rubber stamped more than 50 pre-filled prescriptions for which TRICARE paid $1.2 million. Many of those beneficiaries were recruited during a meeting at a North Little Rock National Guard facility where attendees were each offered $1,000 for receiving drugs.