A former high school basketball coach turned medical sales rep was sentenced in federal court Thursday to 51 months in prison for defrauding Tricare, the nation’s military health insurer, of more than $12 million in fraudulent prescriptions for patients in Arkansas who were never examined by a doctor.
Derek Clifton, 39, of Alexander, a former Baxter County High School basketball coach, was accused of funneling fraudulent prescriptions to Dr. Joe May, of Benton, in a scheme which netted Clifton nearly three quarters of a million dollars in payouts before federal investigators uncovered it.
Prosecutors said the ringleader of the scheme was Glenn Hudson, a friend of Clifton’s and also a medical sales representative, who admitted last June that he would send prescriptions, rubber-stamped by May to the pharmacy. The pharmacy had an exclusive contract with Tricare, which paid the drugs’ high costs.
Hudson admitted he pocketed $1.5…