CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Over the course of five days, Jerry Wayne Wilkerson, 39, Michael Chatfield, 30, Kasey Nicholson, 34, Billy Hindmon, 38, and Jayson Montgomery, 39, were sentenced by the Honorable Harry S. Mattice, Jr., in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Chattanooga, to prison terms for their roles in a scheme to defraud the federal government and insurance companies.
All five defendants were convicted on multiple counts of fraud and have been sentenced to serve time in federal prison. The sentences varied in length, with the largest sentence being reserved for Jerry Wayne Wilkerson, who will spend over 13 years in custody. Other sentences include: Michael Chatfield – nine years, Billy Hindmon – four years and three months, Kasey Nicholson – two and a half years, and Jayson Montgomery – two years.
The scheme involved dispensing bogus “pain cream” prescriptions to defraud the government and private insurance programs totaling more than $30 million dollars. The trial began last September, with testimony lasting nearly two months. The defendants were given the opportunity to submit legal arguments in writing. Following a bench trial, District Judge Mattice issued the verdict in March 2020, finding all five guilty of multiple counts of fraud.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office takes pride in working with our law enforcement partners. Each day these partners work tirelessly to detect and combat healthcare schemes such as this one. This office will not relent in our efforts to dismantle scams that take advantage of vulnerable citizens and taxpayers,” said J. Douglas Overbey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.
The sentences were the culmination of a five year investigation by Special Agent Brian Kriplean with the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations and Special Agent Erik Srock with the Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General.
Throughout the course of the proceedings, AUSAs Franklin P. Clark and Perry H. Piper represented the United States.