FORMER PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SENTENCED TO 1 ½ YEARS IN PRISON FOR HEALTH CARE FRAUD
HUNTSVILLE - A federal judge today sentenced a former pharmacy technician to 1 ½ years in prison for health care fraud involving prescription reimbursements, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance.
U.S. District Judge C. Lynwood Smith Jr. sentenced CHARLOTTE TURLEY, 52, of Rainbow City, to prison and ordered her to pay $331,118 in restitution to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. She also must forfeit that amount to the government as proceeds of illegal activity. The judge also ordered TURLEY to serve three years supervised release after completing her prison term.
TURLEY pleaded guilty in July to the health care fraud totaling more than $330,000 for illegal prescription reimbursements she received while working as a pharmacy technician at a discount department store in East Gadsden.
“As the court noted at sentencing, this defendant’s crimes had nothing to do with providing health care to individuals, yet it is a fraud that drives up the costs of health care,” Vance said. “When someone steals money intended to pay legitimate claims, it results in higher overall health insurance costs to everyone. We continue our vigilant watch for this type of crime.”
According to TURLEY’s plea agreement, she schemed to defraud Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama between June 2005 and July 2008 while she worked at a Gadsden K-Mart store. As a pharmacy technician, TURLEY entered insurance claim information for prescription drugs into the store’s computer system. TURLEY acknowledged in her plea agreement that she entered false information to reflect she received prescriptions that were never prescribed, and that she received reimbursements from Blue Cross and Blue Shield for the fake prescriptions.
The FBI investigated the case. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lloyd Peeples and Henry Cornelius.
If you believe your organization has expertise or resources that could improve outcomes for ex-offenders re-entering society, please e-mail our Community Outreach Coordinator at Jeremy.Sherer@usdoj.gov
or call 205-244-2019.
The Office of U.S. Attorney
Joyce White Vance
Natural Disaster Fraud Hotline
Members of the public can report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the Hotline, toll free, at (866) 720-5721 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the News Release Justice Department Officials Raise Awareness of Disaster Fraud Hotline