He was a rising independent filmmaker who co-wrote the screenplay for a 2019 film with Nicolas Cage.
But Ivor Jallah’s Hollywood career – and his freedom – is now in jeopardy. His troubles started when he started selling “headache sprays” as well as pain and scar creams in several of his Texas drugstores.
He allegedly billed insurance companies for drugs that were neither prescribed nor provided to patients, according to his federal indictment of November 2020. Jallah’s former business partner, Shannon Turley, is also charged in the federal healthcare fraud case.
She is the ex-wife of a former MTV reality star who died in May 2017.
Together, the Collin County couple allegedly scammed insurance companies with the fake prescriptions using a chain of pharmacies they formed together from January 2017 in North Texas, Houston and elsewhere in Texas.
Prosecutors said they paid for patients’ personal information and used the proceeds of the fraud to purchase real estate and luxury vehicles.
North Texas, one of the nation’s hotspots for healthcare fraud, has seen several schemes involving pain and scar creams costing millions of dollars in fraudulent billings. Across the state, dozens of people have been charged in federal court. In most cases, bribes were paid for the creams. Medicare, workers’ compensation and other government insurance programs have footed the bill.
When authorities found out what was going on, the military health system, Tricare, stopped paying for the creams in 2015. The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud said each container of pain relief cream can hold up to 10. different drugs, such as strong anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants. But studies show that they aren’t necessarily effective in topical creams.
Jallah’s attorney, Ezekiel Tyson Jr., said he has yet to have a chance to fully examine the government evidence in the case.
Turley was released after her arrest. His lawyer, Derek Staub, said the case was still in its early stages.
“We are gathering documentation and moving forward to prepare a defense,” he said.
Staub also said his client ended his business relationship with Jallah and left the industry before the federal investigation.
Turley, 43, was a pharmacy technician before her license expired in 2019, state records show. Jallah, 35, was at one point certified as a trainee pharmacy technician.
The two have pleaded not guilty to federal charges and are awaiting trial. A trial date has been set for June 2022.
Jallah is currently in federal custody after a federal judge ruled in July that he violated the conditions of his provisional release by committing other crimes.
One of Jallah’s new projects, “Blood Orange Moon,” was filming in Dallas last year when the indictment was released in the North District of Texas. Jallah is listed as writer and director of the horror / comedy film.
Assistant to American lawyer Lisa Dunn wrote in a court file that none of the patients allegedly prescribed the drugs had been seen by a doctor. The 16-count indictment includes health care misrepresentation charges.
Jallah and Turley are also accused of paying to have patients’ personal information used to submit bogus prescriptions. In the indictment against Jallah and Turley, prosecutors seek the confiscation of a 2017 Bentley Bentayga, 2012 Rolls Royce, 2017 Ford Mustang and lakeside land in County of Kaufman.
Dunn wrote about a year ago that the case was part of “an ongoing criminal investigation which is neither public nor known to all targets of the investigation.” This investigation has already given rise to other criminal cases. At least five other people have been charged in separate indictments that have been unsealed.
Tanya Williams, Kerrico Carr and Chad Walls have already pleaded guilty in their case, which was filed last year, court records show. All three have been charged with committing identity theft offenses for selling stolen patient information for fraudulent use, court records show.
Two others, Daniel Davila and Agustin Esquivel-Gomez, were indicted earlier this year for allegedly providing fraudulent invoices to Jallah as part of the scheme. Both men have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.
Jallah was born and raised in Fort Worth and attended Dunbar High School, according to his biographies online. Most recently, he lived in a neighborhood in Dallas, Collin County.
His LinkedIn account says he earned a degree in video technology from North Lake College and a degree in film production from KD College. The Internet Movie Database says he wrote his first screenplay while attending film school.
Jallah said D Magazine in a 2019 article that he handed his screenplay to a producer after moving to Los Angeles. After a few edits, it was finally made into a feature film, “Grand Isle,” with Nicolas Cage in the lead role, according to IMDB.
The 2019 thriller also features Kelsey Grammer
Jallah is also listed as the creator, director and screenwriter of a 2018 comedy series titled “Rich Africans” which aired on Amazon Prime. The story is about two “rich Africans” trying to “find their way to America”.
One of its companies, Film Keyz Productions, says on an archived version of its website that its team includes “industry professionals with years of experience directing feature films and television productions, producing music, script and songwriting, and post-production editing ”.
He says Jallah has produced and directed “short films, commercials, documentaries, music videos, TV shows and movies.” Jallah, who also uses Iver Jallah’s name, said his main passion is directing.
He said PaperCity in an August 2020 article that “Blood Orange Moon” would be his “showcase film,” over which he would have full creative control.
But it’s unclear if he’ll have time to complete this low-budget zombie flick.
Federal judge found in April that Jallah violated the terms of his provisional release by “submitting bogus pharmacy claims and bogus bills to a pharmacy benefits manager in response to an audit of pharmacy claims,” the records show court.
Assistant US attorney Katherine Miller said Jallah was responsible for Green Leaf Pharmacy in Allen, submitting more than $ 46,000 in false claims. Three of the alleged recipients of the drugs told investigators they had never heard of the pharmacy or the doctor on the prescriber list, Miller said in a court file.
“They also had not requested the drugs or suffered from the ailments for which such drugs would be prescribed,” Miller wrote.
US magistrate judge Rebecca Rutherford also found that Jallah had made a “false written statement” in connection with his attempted purchase of a handgun in July 2021.
Jallah does not have a criminal history. But as a felony indictment, he is not allowed by law to buy a gun.
Jallah lied on a federal form while trying to purchase the handgun from Ray’s Sporting Goods in Dallas – while carrying a court-ordered GPS tracking device, Assistant U.S. Attorney Joshua Detzky said in a motion.
For this, Jallah was indicted in a separate case of one count of making a false statement to purchase a gun, court records show. He also pleaded not guilty in this case.
Turley, of Plano, was briefly married to Christopher “Big Black” Boykin, known as the bodyguard of former professional skater Rob Dyrdek in the MTV series, “Rob and Big”.
Boykin starred alongside Dyrdek on the show, which aired over two seasons, from 2006 to 2008.
Turley and Boykin divorced in 2009, court records show. But the couple had a child together and she looked after him in north Texas when his health began to deteriorate, according to published reports.
Turley told Entertainment Tonight that Boykin had congenital heart failure and doctors told him he likely needed a transplant. He died at the age of 45 in Plano in 2017.
It was around this time that the pharmacy program began, according to prosecutors.
And it continued after pharmacy benefit managers conducted an audit of a Houston pharmacy run by Jallah and Turley to verify the prescriptions it managed, court records show. The audit focused on whether or not the Wallis Pharmacy had sufficient supplies of the drugs it was selling, according to records.
Jallah and Turley paid Davila and Esquivel-Gomez to create false invoices to show that Wallis Pharmacy was purchasing enough creams and sprays to fill prescriptions, according to the indictment.
The court records included some of the emails allegedly sent as part of the scheme. In one, Turley reportedly wrote to Jallah and Davila in July 2017 to say, “Here is [sic] the quantities of drugs we needed, dated between 29/3 and 29/6.