Hattiesburg, Miss. – Gregory Parker, 51, of Laurel, Mississippi and Brantley Paul Nichols, D.M.D., 42, of Oxford, Mississippi were sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Keith Starrett for conspiracy to commit health care fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst, Special Agent in Charge Michelle Sutphin with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Mississippi, and Special Agent in Charge Cyndy Bruce of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service’s (“DCIS”) Southeast Field Office.
Gregory Parker was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $566,979.69.
Brantley Paul Nichols was sentenced to 12 months and one day in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release with 6 months of electronic monitoring. He was also ordered to pay a $75,000 fine along with restitution in the amount of $696,026.
Between 2012 and 2015, while Parker was a nurse practitioner, he conspired with Hope Thomley, owner of Total Care Marketing and Advantage Pharmacy in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and others to sign numerous blank prescriptions for very expensive compounded creams that Parker knew were not medically necessary. Some of the prescriptions were for patients Parker never examined, including some of Thomley’s family members. As part of the conspiracy, Parker agreed with Thomley that he would be given a kickback for prescribing dietary supplements that were compounded by Advantage Pharmacy. Parker admitted that he would not have written the prescriptions unless he was being reimbursed. Parker’s fraudulent prescriptions cost health care benefit programs, including Tricare, $566,979.69.
Like Parker, beginning in October 2014 and continuing through January 2016, Nichols conspired with others to sign numerous blank prescriptions for expensive compounded medications for patients he did not examine. Nichols admitted to knowing the prescriptions would be submitted to Advantage Pharmacy and Tricare, and other health care benefit programs would ultimately be billed for the prescriptions that were not medically necessary. In total, Tricare reimbursed Advantage Pharmacy approximately $696,000 for the prescriptions that were signed by Nichols.
Hope E. Thomley, 52, previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and tax evasion. She will be sentenced by Judge Starrett on July 23, 2020.
The IRS-CI, DCIS, FBI, and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics investigated the case. Assistant Chief Dustin M. Davis and Trial Attorney Sara E. Porter of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section of the U.S. Department of Justice and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathlyn R. Van Buskirk of the Southern District of Mississippi prosecuted the case.