|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 5, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
MACON COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Macon County man has been charged with TennCare fraud in Rutherford County for allegedly selling prescription drugs obtained through TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Rickey L. Roberson, 50, of Red Boiling Springs. The 15th Judicial Drug Task Force and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.
Roberson was indicted by a Rutherford County Grand Jury on two counts of TennCare fraud for filling prescriptions for two strong medications: the pain reliever methadone, a drug similar to morphine which also reduces withdrawal symptoms in people addicted to heroin or other narcotic drugs; and clonazepam ((kloe NAZ e pam), an anti-anxiety medication also sold as the brand drug Klonopin. Roberson is accused of using TennCare to pay for the doctor’s office visit where he received the prescriptions, and then later sold a portion of them.
“Abuse of TennCare benefits, especially in pharmaceuticals, may have been easy to get by with years ago, but those days are gone,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police departments, sheriffs’ officers, pharmacies and other medical providers are all working together in the war against TennCare drug fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,100 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."