NBA YoungBoy orchestrated 'large scale prescription fraud' scheme, Utah police say

Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Rapper NBA YoungBoy and several of his associates orchestrated a "large scale prescription fraud ring" to illegally obtain prescription drugs from multiple Utah-area pharmacies, police allege.

An affidavit filed Thursday by an officer for the Cache County Sheriff's Office named the rapper (born Kentrell DeSean Gaulden) as a primary suspect in a monthslong scheme that involved posing as a doctor to fill prescriptions for promethazine with codeine — a controlled substance — in pharmacies in cities including Hyrum, Logan and Smithfield. The affidavit was filed two days after Gaulden, 24, was arrested Tuesday evening on 63 charges including counts for identity fraud, forgery and "procuring or attempting to procure" prescription drugs, court documents reviewed by The Times said.

A legal representative for Gaulden, also known as YoungBoy Never Broke Again, did not comment to The Times on Friday.

Filed by Cache County officer Tyson Nielsen, the affidavit outlines multiple instances dating from September 2023 to February 2024 of alleged identity fraud and attempts to obtain promethazine with codeine — a key ingredient used to make a cough syrup-laced drink commonly known as "lean," "purple drank" and "sizzurp."

On Sept. 19, 2023, two pharmacies in the Cache County area received a prescription order from a person claiming to be a physician in Provo. The person allegedly posing as the physician provided valid identifying information and requested to fill a prescription for two patients in their 70s, "Bethel White" and "Gwendlyn Cox." In both instances, the real physician (who was not identified) told the pharmacies that he did not have patients with those names and said his "name and credentials are being used fraudulently."

A third fraudulent prescription for the same drug was allegedly called into a Smithfield pharmacy on Jan. 17, 2024, again by "the suspect identifying as the physician." The prescription was for a patient named "Gwendolyn Cox" — not "Gwendlyn" — with a different birthday. Pharmacists were suspicious about the request and attempted to reach the physician but the call was disconnected, the affidavit says. The real physician later confirmed to the Smithfield pharmacy that he did not place the order and did not have a patient named "Gwendolyn Cox."


According to documents, Nielsen began investigating the alleged fraud scheme amid the January incident. Two women allegedly arrived in a white Chevy Tahoe, registered in Gaulden's name, to pick up the prescription for a "friend" from the Smithfield pharmacy. Cache County police detained the unidentified women ("Associates 1 and 2"). They were later arrested for their alleged involvement in the "prescription fraud ring."

Nielsen said that amid his investigation, "Gwendolyn Cox" requested to get in touch. However, during the conversation, the caller allegedly offered "White" as a last name instead of "Cox," and did not provide a full date of birth or a home address. "During the conversation with 'Gwendolyn' it was very clear that a fake voice was being used," Nielsen wrote in the affidavit, before citing the caller's pronunciation of "ask" as "axe," which he said is "consistent "with a southern dialect" in several states including Gaulden's native Louisiana.

Court documents detail an alleged conversation between Nielsen, Gaulden and the rapper's brother ("Associate 3"), which included inquiries about the prescription medicine for "Gwendolyn Cox." The affidavit also lists a handful of "fraudulent activity" under the Provo physician's name; all of them were prescription requests for promethizane with codeine for patients in their late 60s and 70s across Utah pharmacies.

"Several of the names are repeats including combinations of first and last names with different birthdays," Nielsen said.


swipe to next page

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus