LITTLE ROCK, Ark – An Alexander doctor was found guilty June 9 on 22 federal counts of fraud related to a kickback conspiracy, prosecutors announced.
The jury found Dr. Joe David “Jay” May, 41, guilty of fraud by filing unnecessary prescriptions after roughly three hours of deliberations.
“Dr. May used his signature as a rubber stamp to help his friends rake in millions of dollars in kickbacks from fraudulent prescriptions,” Jonathan D. Ross, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas stated. “His crimes are a reprehensible abuse of his Hippocratic oath and his medical license. Our office and our federal law enforcement partners at the FBI and Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG) are resolved to continue to bring to justice all other health care professionals who defraud our nation’s healthcare systems.”
May’s conviction is part of a larger case brought in 2020 by the Eastern District against a group who schemed to generate unnecessary prescriptions for TRICARE beneficiaries, which resulted in kickbacks to beneficiaries and those involved in the prescription chain.
TRICARE is a government health care program that serves roughly 9.6 million military members and retirees with a budget of over $50 billion.
Prosecutors said May’s role in the conspiracy was to write prescriptions, 226 in total, over a 10-month period, valued at $4.63 million. The Justice Department said these prescriptions were for patients May had not seen.
The DOJ claims the larger conspiracy was to recruit TRICARE beneficiaries who would be directed through a nurse practitioner and drug sales representatives, and through May for prescriptions, which would result in kickbacks being paid.
The larger scheme generated a total of $12 million in sales for which May received $15,000, the government charged.
Court records showed the scheme had a peak of activity after a recruiter held a meeting at North Little Rock’s Fisher Armory, signing people up for prescriptions with the promise of a $1,000 payment. May was sent 13 of the patients who signed up, resulting in $370,000 in TRICARE fees. Then the group learned that TRICARE payments may drop in May, leading to May writing 59 prescriptions in April, a $1.4 million bill to TRICARE.
At the trial, a forensic accountant testified that May deposited $9,925 in cash during “a single 9-week period at the height of the scheme.” This was more than May deposited in 2014 or 2016, the accountant testified.
Also charged in the scheme were Albert Glenn Hudson, 40, of Sherwood; Derek Clifton, 39, of Alexander, the drug sales representatives; Donna Crowder, 66, of North Little Rock, the nurse practitioner; Jennifer Crowder (formerly Bracy), 38, of Little Rock; Keith Benson, 50, of North Little Rock; Keith Hunter, 52, of Little Rock; and Angie Johnson, 49, of North Little Rock and Kenneth Myers, Jr., 42, now of Alpharetta, Georgia (formerly Little Rock), all of whom pled guilty, the Department of Justice stated.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and HHS-OIG. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Alexander Morgan and Stephanie Mazzanti.