|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 10, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Putnam County woman has been arrested and charged with TennCare fraud. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and Cookeville Police today announced the arrest of Kristen N. Waggoner, 20, of Cookeville.
A two-count indictment in Putnam County accuses Waggoner of presenting a local pharmacy with a forged prescription for the painkiller Lortab, and using TennCare to pay for the forged prescription.
“Altering a prescription to add narcotics is a form of fraud that pharmacists keep a watchful eye for,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We will go after these cases aggressively, as it is crucial to TennCare that people who engage in this activity are held accountable.”
Waggoner faces one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General Randy A. York is prosecuting.
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."