NASHVILLE – A joint investigation by Special Agents with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and multiple local and state agencies has resulted in a multiple-count indictment against a former operator of a Putnam County group home.
On April 10th, and at the request of 13th District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway, TBI Agents joined investigators with the following agencies, in investigating complaints of financially-based crimes against residents of the Senior Lifestyles facility in Cookeville: the District Attorney General, Social Security Administration, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, the Cookeville Police Department, the 13th Judicial Drug Task Force, Tennessee Highway Patrol Criminal Investigation Division, Office of the Inspector General, and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. During the course of the investigation, Agents developed information that from 2016 through 2018, Stephanie Butler, the then-operator of the facility, was responsible for financially exploiting several of the residents, using their financial assets for her personal use. Agents further determined that she and Brian Richey, a nurse practitioner who provided medical services for the residents, were involved in diverting controlled substance medication that belonged to the residents for their own personal use.
On Wednesday, the Putnam County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Stephanie Lee Butler (DOB 02/14/1974) with one count of Conspiracy to Obtain Controlled Substances by Fraud, one count of Obtaining Controlled Substances by Fraud, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Financial Exploitation of an Elderly/ Vulnerable Adult, 11 counts of Financial Exploitation, one count of Theft over $2,500, four counts of Identity Theft, six counts of Money Laundering, and one count of Tampering with Evidence. Brian Fitzhugh Richey (DOB 03/19/1982) was charged with one count of Conspiracy to Obtain Controlled Substances by Fraud, one count of Obtaining Controlled Substances by Fraud, one count of Conspiracy to Commit Financial Exploitation of an Elderly/ Vulnerable Adult and one count of Financial Exploitation. Butler was arrested Wednesday and booked into the Putnam County Jail with a $150,000 bond. Richey was arrested Thursday morning and booked, with a bond of $40,000.