|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Hamilton County woman has been arrested and charged with TennCare fraud, after being on the run for the past five months.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of Gabrielle Allen, 26, of Chattanooga. A Hamilton County Grand Jury indicted Allen in July of last year, charging her with two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.”
The charge against her says she saw multiple physicians within a 30-day period, receiving a prescription for the strong painkiller Lortab, with the physician office visits being paid for by TennCare.
“Prescription drug abuse is a concern of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of local police like the officers in Hamilton County, we are sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General William H. Cox will be prosecuting this case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, nearly 1,500 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."