|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Wayne County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in nearby Maury County for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Keri L. Hawley, 24, of Clifton, after a joint investigation with the Clifton Police Department.
Hawley has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud. She is accused of filling a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, which was paid for by TennCare, then selling a portion of the pills.
“Local police officers across the state are often the first to discover illegal drug sales and they work with us when TennCare public health dollars are involved,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Hawley could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney Mike Bottoms 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."