Former Pharmacy Technician Sentenced to One and One-Half Years in Prison for Health Care Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 14, 2010|
HUNTSVILLE—A federal judge today sentenced a former pharmacy technician to one and one-half 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 pled 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.