Physician found guilty in $12M Tricare fraud scheme

Arkansas physician Joe May, MD, was convicted on 22 counts over his involvement in a scheme to defraud Tricare of $12 million, the Justice Department said June 10.

Dr. May, 41, signed off on illegitimate pain cream prescriptions in order to get reimbursement from Tricare, which insures the nation's veterans and active duty military members. A pharmacy promoter paid recruiters to find people insured by Tricare, who were then prescribed the pain cream whether they needed it or not, the department said.

Dr. May wrote 226 prescriptions over 10 months, all but one of which were supplied by drug sales representatives who have pleaded guilty in the fraud scheme, the department said. Dr. May accepted nearly $15,000 in cash bribes to rubber stamp the prescriptions.

Each of Dr. May's convictions carries a possible maximum prison sentence of between five and 20 years, the department said.

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