Former Norfork coach 1 of 2 charged in scheme to defraud military insurer

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A former basketball coach with the Norfork School District, Derek Clifton, and an Arkansas doctor have been accused of taking part in a scheme which defrauded the U.S. military’s health insurer of more than $12 million. Clifton who was with Norfork schools from 2006-2009 is now a medical sales representative.

Federal prosecutors announced Friday Clifton and  Dr. Joe David May have been charged in a 43-count indictment. Both men are from Alexander.

According to prosecutors, Tricare, the military insurer, paid over $12 million in 2015 for prescriptions, which were rubber stamped without examining patients.

The indictment says the two men also took part in a widespread effort to obstruct an investigation by authorities.

The charges in the indictment include conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud, anti-kickback violations, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, lying to the FBI, falsifying records and obstruction of justice.

According to the indictment, Tricare beneficiaries allegedly were recruited, sometimes for pay, to receive expensive compounded drugs they didn’t need. Prescriptions went to a Mississippi pharmacy, which shipped drugs nationwide and billed Tricare for reimbursement.

Authorities allege Clifton sent May pre-filled prescriptions and May rubber stamped them for over 100 beneficiaries, for which Tricare paid $4.5 million.

Court records did not list attorneys for either May or Clifton.

Click here for the official news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Eastern District of Arkansas.

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