Pharmacist Charged for Illegally Billing and Dispensing Controlled Substances

A Tennessee pharmacist was arrested and charged with TennCare fraud for false billing of expensive medications and selling fraudulent prescriptions.

A Tennessee pharmacist was arrested and charged with TennCare fraud for false billing of expensive medications and selling fraudulent prescriptions.

Glen R. Bonifield of Crockett County was indicted after a 6-month investigation that exposed the fraudulent schemes he operated at his pharmacy. Beginning in 2015, special agents of the 28th Drug Task Force investigated Bonifield by purchasing controlled pills and crack cocaine from his pharmacy as well as passing fake prescriptions with Bonifield in exchange for cash.

Bonifield was allegedly providing controlled substances to patients and billing TennCare for drugs that were never dispensed to patients. Bonifield claimed to have given patients Abilify, an expensive antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia, and instead dispensed different medications under the guise of Abilify. In one instance, agents said that TennCare was billed 9 times for a total of $7,857.85 for Abilify.

Additionally, a search of the pharmacy uncovered approximately 35 lb of controlled substances, along with illegal weapons and alcohol. Agents found large discrepancies in controlled substance accounting while processing the evidence, amounting to about 195,000 controlled substance pills that remain unaccounted for by inventory.

According to the 28th Drug Task Force, the investigation is ongoing as agents continue to branch out to other areas and individuals who may be involved with the pharmacy. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation are assisting the task force.

The OIG has investigated cases amounting to more than $3 million in repayments to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of more than $163.6 million to TennCare, since its conception in February 2005.

Bonifield has been charged with 25 counts of TennCare fraud and 1 count of theft over $10,000.