Charlotte Turley, a K-Mart pharmacy technician, is alleged to have committed healthcare fraud by entering false prescription information into the store’s computer, says a press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. According to a four-count indictment, the phantom prescriptions prompted Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama to pay Turley more than $359,000 “for illegal prescription reimbursements.”
“Fraud involving health care providers increases the overall costs of health care to everyone,” said U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance. “This office will continue to prosecute anyone who seeks personal enrichment by stealing from health care providers.”
Turley faces up to 10 years in prison, $1,000,000 in fines, and $359,000 in restitution; she is presumed innocent and awaits trial. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lloyd Peeples and Henry Cornelius are prosecuting the case. Peeples has repeatedly been at the helm of the office’s healthcare cases, prosecuting Kimberly Perrin for embezzlement at the Simon-Williamson Clinic earlier this year and Issac Earl Smith and Annetra Poole-Moore last year for stealing Medicare information from UnitedHealthcare in order to scam prescriptions for controlled substances.
Peeples’s and the office’s largest accomplishment in fighting healthcare fraud remains the SouthernCare settlement resulting in a near $25 million Medicare recovery — it is the largest Medicare Hospice Fraud case in the country and the largest whistleblower settlement in Alabama history. The SouthernCare settlement was the result of a qui tam lawsuit on behalf of SouthernCare nurse, Nancy Romeo, litigated by Frohsin & Barger.