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Press Release

Arkansas Doctor Sentenced to More Than Eight Years in Federal Prison for Accepting Kickbacks, Defrauding TRICARE, and Failed Attempts to Obstruct Investigation

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Arkansas

      LITTLE ROCK—An Arkansas doctor at the heart of a $12 million scheme to defraud TRICARE will spend the next 102 months in federal prison. Earlier today, United States District Judge Kristine G. Baker sentenced Joe David May, a.k.a. Jay May, 42, of Alexander, to 102 months’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay more than $4.63 million in restitution to TRICARE, the health insurer for our nation’s military.

      A 2020 indictment charged May with twenty-two counts, including conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, violating the anti-kickback statute, lying to the FBI, falsifying records, and aggravated identity theft. After a six-day trial in June 2022, a jury convicted May on all twenty-two counts.

      Proof at trial showed May stood at the center of a bogus prescription-drug assembly line and, later, went to great lengths in a failed bid to cover it up.

      As part of the scheme, recruiters found military personnel and veterans with TRICARE and filled out prescriptions for compounded drugs in their names—selecting which drugs to supply (usually the most expensive) and how many refills to authorize. All that was missing were prescriber signatures. So, middlemen routed the pre-filled prescriptions to medical professionals, like May, to be rubber stamped without consulting the ‘patient’ or any regard for whether drugs were needed.  TRICARE paid over $12 million for prescriptions generated in this scheme, part of a wave of fraudulent schemes around the country that saw TRICARE spend over $2 billion for compounded prescription drugs in 2015.

      In exchange for thousands in cash kickbacks, May rubber stamped 226 prescriptions for which TRICARE paid over $4.63 million. All but one of his prescriptions were for ‘patients’ May did not know, never treated, and knew nothing about.

      Following the execution of search warrants at compounding pharmacies around the country, May visited the FBI to answer questions about his prescriptions. May lied by claiming he only signed prescriptions for people he evaluated and denying he received kickbacks. Obstruction continued when May got a subpoena for prescriptions and related ‘patient’ records. May turned over but a fraction of the prescriptions he signed and fabricated medical records to make it seem like the drug recipients were really his patients. Finally, as trial approached, May tried to mischaracterize a $5,000 cash kickback as Oaklawn winnings from the 2015 Arkansas Derby.

      All nine of May’s co-conspirators pled guilty to conspiracy and elected to cooperate with federal law enforcement, with several testifying at trial. All but one co-conspirator has been sentenced:




Case No.


Derek Clifton


Alexander, Ark.


51 mos. imprisonment, $1.1M forfeiture

Albert Glenn Hudson


Sherwood, Ark.


48 mos. imprisonment, $1.5M forfeiture

Donna Crowder


North Little Rock


12 mos. 1 day imprisonment, $18K fine

Jennifer Crowder


Little Rock


12 mos. home confinement, $89K forfeiture

Keith Benson


North Little Rock


15 mos. imprisonment, $727K forfeiture

Kenneth Myers, Jr.


Maumelle, Ark.


3 years probation, $68K forfeiture

Keith Hunter


Little Rock



      Through the prosecution of May and his nine co-conspirators, the United States has recovered nearly $8 million in restitution, forfeiture, and fines.

      “Our healthcare system is built on trust, and those who abuse it do so at their peril,” said Jonathan D. Ross, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas. “Dr. May accepted kickbacks, cheated TRICARE, and tried to deceive federal agents investigating his crimes. Now, he will trade hospital scrubs for a prison uniform. Let his case serve as a warning to others in the medical industry. Our office and our partners at the FBI and HHS-OIG are committed to rooting out anyone who succumbs to the temptation of ‘easy money.’”

      “By defrauding TRICARE, Dr. May stole from our service men and women, military retirees, and their families. He robbed Americans who had sworn an oath to defend our nation, and he pickpocketed American taxpayers,” said FBI Little Rock Special Agent in Charge James A. Dawson. “Today’s sentencing induces accountability, and demonstrates there is no place in our society for the behavior exhibited by Dr. May. The FBI and its partners will continue to aggressively investigate those who undermine the integrity of our nation’s healthcare system.”

      “Federal healthcare programs rely on the honesty and integrity of doctors to prescribe medically necessary medications to their patients,” said Special Agent in Charge Jason E. Meadows of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. “On the contrary, Dr. May signed pre-filled prescriptions filled out by a pharmaceutical rep for patients he had no doctor-patient relationship with and all on the backs of the American taxpayer. HHS-OIG is laser-focused on investigating doctors and other medical professionals who lie, cheat, and steal from American taxpayers for their own personal benefit, and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to hold them accountable.”

      In addition to the 102-month prison sentence, Judge Baker sentenced May to three years’ of supervised release following imprisonment. May was also ordered to pay more than $4.63 million in restitution and a $2,200 special assessment.  The investigation was conducted by the FBI and HHS-OIG. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander D. Morgan and Stephanie G. Mazzanti.

This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the

United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas, is available online at



Updated April 14, 2023

Health Care Fraud