|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two people have been charged with TennCare fraud in separate indictments in Smith and Hamilton counties.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests:
"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 we're sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions that can range from losing TennCare to time in prison."
The TennCare fraud charges against each of them could result in a two year sentence per charge, if convicted. District Attorney General William H. Cox, III will be prosecuting the Wallace-Slaughter case. Smith County District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson is prosecuting the Leach case.
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 http://tennessee.gov/tnoig/ and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."