Prosecutors Said Wilkerson Made Over $14 Million, Chatfield $5.4 Million from "Cream Scheme"

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Prosecutors said Wayne Wilkerson made over $14 million from the "cream scheme" and Michael Chatfield raked in $5.4 million.

In addition, Wilkerson made $400,000 in charges to the Hamilton County Schools for creams billed at exorbitant prices.

Prosecutors Perry Piper and Franklin Clark said Chatfield also got $1.5 million for passing on his "book of business" to Jimmy Collins. Collins and his wife, Ashley, formerly lived at Birchwood, but moved to San Diego. They were also arrested in the healthcare fraud and are awaiting trial. Ashley Collins asked to be tried separately, but that motion was denied.

Wilkerson, Chatfield, Kasey Nicholson, Billy Hindmon and Jayson Montgomery are awaiting a decision by Judge Sandy Mattice on their guilt or innocence. The judge heard the lengthy case without a jury.

The prosecutors said all 178 counts that were charged should be upheld.

They said insurance companies and Tricare paid a total of roughly $35 million for the compounded medications in the locally-based scheme. Private insurance paid roughly $22 million for prescriptions written by Candace Michele Craven, Toni Dobson, and Suzy Vergot.

Of this number for private insurance, Ms. Craven was responsible for roughly $21 million. She has been scheduled to be sentenced in San Diego on Friday. However, it was delayed until June 12. Attorneys said they wanted to wait until the cases of co-defendants had been settled.

Likewise, Tricare (the health agency for the military) was billed roughly $13.8 million for prescriptions written by Ms. Craven, Ms. Dobson, and Ms. Vergot as part of the scheme, it was stated.

They said Wilkerson (through his Top Tier corporation) made roughly $13 million in commissions from four pharmacies: Willow, Central Rexall, Florida Pharmacy Solution and Soothe. They said, "This number did not include the commission paid by Hamilton County Schools on the $954,000 that was billed to them."

Chatfield made $5,400,000 through his corporation Top Shelf, the government said.

Ms. Nicholson’s commissions were $938,740, of which she paid $204,000 to Matthew Perkins.

Hindmon’s commissions were $1,031,296, and Jayson Montgomery’s commissions were $337,068.17.

Prosecutors Piper and Clark said, "Each of the defendants was a 'marketer' for the compounded medications. The defendants, and their downlinks, would approach a prospective customer, explain that they were marketing the compounded medications, inquire about the type of insurance the person had, and then attempt to recruit the person to order a prescription. The defendants generally had a prepared order form for the transaction. The order form went through several changes during the course of the scheme, but generally it involved pain cream, creams to treat skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, anti-aging creams, scar creams, wound management gel, wellness pills, and other creams to treat maladies such as stretch marks.

"The customers were generally informed that there would be no cost to them and were not told how much the creams cost their insurance provider. If the customer agreed to sign up for the medications, generally he or she was told that a health care professional (either a doctor or nurse practitioner) would call the customer to complete the prescription. (Some customers never received a call from a health care professional.)

"Additionally, as an inducement to order, some customers were offered an inducement disguised as a fee for a non-existent study or survey. The inducement generally would be in the $100 range, although some were paid more. Many customers also made a commission from their own creams."

The government said the amount of money charged to the insurance company for each prescription varied. However, many of the prescriptions billed at $10,000 per prescription, and sometimes higher. Some of the prescriptions reimbursed at close to $15,000.

The prosecutors said, "There were instances where the defendants paid the co-payment to the pharmacy, or where the pharmacy itself would waive the co-pay. It was not unusual for one customer to have his/her insurance billed for over $100,000 for the medications, and in many cases much more.

"For example, Hamilton County Schools (through BCBS as a third party administrator) was billed approximately $800,000 for Keitha Booker and his daughter, Sydney Snyder, for compounded creams they ordered through Wilkerson."


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