The brother of one of five defendants standing trial in the Federal Court "Cream Scheme" case testified that his "generous" brother gave him thousands of dollars to use for "fun" from an account of cream proceeds.
Brandon Chatfield, younger brother of defendant Michael Chatfield, said he got some money for signing up people to take the creams and other checks just out of his brother's largesse.
Michael Chatfield is on trial in the courtroom of Judge Sandy Mattice along with Wayne Wilkerson, Kasey Nicholson, Billy Hindmon and Jayson Montgomery.
The government says the group made millions from billing private insurance companies and the federal government's health insurance program for veterans at invoices of up to $15,000 a tube for the creams. The Hamilton County school system was another victim for over $945,000. About $325,000 of that has been recouped.
Brandon Chatfield said in early 2014 his brother told him about the creams and he ordered several of them. He said, "I went to a doctor's office to discuss a skin condition, and I referred two or three other people."
He said of the creams, "I actually quite liked them. It worked very well." He said he had back and neck pain from when his car was totaled. He got six separate creams (with five refills each), including varieties for psoriasis and eczema, scars and stretch marks.
There were $112,021 in insurance billings for his creams, a prosecutor pointed out. He got $19,368 in "sales commissions."
Prosecutors also said around the same time that Brandon Chatfield was showing interest in the creams that he was seeking to expedite a switch to BlueCross, which was covering the expensive compounded creams at the time. BlueCross later cut off coverage for the creams as did the federal government finally.
Asked about the cost of the creams, Brandon Chatfield said, "I was roughly aware that they were very expensive."
The Apison resident, who is now a pharmacist, told of talking to friends Luke and Noah Bowling about the creams outside Finley Stadium. He said he had gone to school with the Bowlings at David Brainerd Christian School in East Brainerd. He said his brother was also present at the Finley Stadium meet-up.
He said he and his wife, Grayson, the next day met Luke Bowling at Hamilton Place Mall to pick up cream enrollment papers that had been given them at Finley Stadium.
Prosecutors said not only were the Bowling brothers signed up for the creams, but also their parents and sister as it turned out. For the Hal Bowling family creams, the billings were $150,000. Luke Bowling was paid $2,000 "for referring his family," it was stated.
Brandon Chatfield said he got cream orders from his wife as well as "the girlfriend of a guy I worked with at Walgreens."
The "fun" checks from Michael Chatfield's Top Shelf LLC to his brother included ones for $2,000, $2,000, $4,000, $3,000 and $13,000.
Creams were also ordered for uncle Jim Chatfield. Hal Chatfield, father of Michael and Brandon Chatfield, was paid $470,000, it was testified.
Natalie Chatfield, wife of Michael Chatfield, testified about the fact that creams were ordered for her parents, George and Deborah Foster of Lookout Mountain, and they testified they never authorized them and didn't get them.
Ms. Chatfield said she ordered some of the creams for herself, then she told her mother about them. She said, "I told her how good they worked and she said she would like to use them. She had skin issues."
Ms. Chatfield, though she was married at the time, said she was still listed as a dependent on the BlueCross coverage of her parents. She said she often had access to their insurance card.
She said she put her own phone number on the order for her parents. She said her mother often did not answer her phone. She said she put her home as the place to deliver the creams because her parents were seldom at their home.
The amount billed insurors just for the creams for George Foster was $129,760, and for his wife it was a similar amount.
Prosecutors said the 2014 tax form for Natalie Chatfield showed her getting a $60,000 payment from her husband's cream LLC.