The Look in Brief

Hospice nurse charged with fraud and identity theft

By: - May 3, 2022 7:00 am
(Mint Images/Getty Images)

(Mint Images/Getty Images)

A hospice nurse was arrested and charged with fraud and identity theft for her role in  defrauding pharmacies throughout Middle Tennessee and stealing the identities of six patients and physicians with the intent of distributing controlled drugs.

From 2015 to 2021, Contessa Lynn Holley from Pulaski worked in two different hospice facilities–Compassus Hospice and Willowbrooke–while devising and executing a scheme to steal the identities of patients and physicians, according to court documents. 

Using their identities, Holley was able to recreate signatures of two hospice physicians to write and fill unauthorized prescriptions in the names of several patients at multiple pharmacies in Lawrence and Giles Counties.

The prescriptions included oxycodone and hydrocodone, which Holley then personally used or distributed throughout Middle Tennessee while having prescription companies foot the bill.  

Holley was arrested on April 7 and faces five counts of wire fraud, six counts of aggravated identity theft and one charge of possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute. 

She has since been released from custody under the condition that she seek and maintain employment outside of any healthcare-related job or hold any position that will allow her access to an individual’s personal information. 

In Tennessee, approximately 70,000 residents are addicted to opioids, and the state faces epidemic levels of addiction, overdoses and death, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The state has experienced a decrease in opioid prescriptions in recent years, with Oxycodone prescriptions peaking in 2012, there has been a surge in usage of methamphetamine, heroin and other drugs sold on the street. 

Opioid abuse stemmed from an overprescription of opioids as a painkiller before the public understood its extremely addictive nature, and researchers have blamed pharmaceutical companies, pharmacies and rogue prescribers for the crisis. 

Holley’s trial is scheduled for Aug. 2.


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Dulce Torres Guzman
Dulce Torres Guzman

Dulce has written for the Nashville Scene and Crucero News. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she received the John Seigenthaler Award for Outstanding Graduate in Print Journalism in 2016. Torres Guzman is a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. She enjoys the outdoors and is passionate about preserving the environment and environmental issues.