Pharmacist indicted on healthcare fraud charges

Special to the Claiborne Progress

Joseph “Jess” Collins

An investigation by Special Agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General has led to the indictment of a pharmacist on healthcare fraud charges.

According to a news release from the TBI, in January 2013, TBI Special Agents with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, working alongside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, began investigating allegations against a New Tazewell pharmacist. During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that between May 2008 and May 2013, Joseph “Jess” Collins allegedly submitted hundreds of fraudulent claims for prescription medications to Medicare and TennCare.

Collins, 56, of Middlesboro, Kentucky, was employed at Woody’s Pharmacy in New Tazewell at the time. Rebif, an injectable drug used to treat multiple sclerosis and oxycodone were among the medications that Collins claimed to have dispensed.

On Oct. 26, the Claiborne County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Collins with TennCare fraud over $60,000, insurance fraud over $60,000 and computer crimes over $60,000.

Last week, Collins turned himself in and was booked into to the Claiborne County Jail. He has since been released on a $25,000 bond.

Joseph “Jess” Collins “Jess” Collins

Special to the Claiborne Progress

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