FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Claiborne County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for using the program to obtain prescription drugs, which she is charged with selling.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office and the New Tazewell Police Department today announced the arrest of Fallon Seals, 31, of Tazewell.
An indictment accuses Seals of TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule II controlled substance and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. Charges detail that Seals presented a pharmacy with a prescription for the painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare to pay it, while planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
“This is another example of local law enforcement collaborating with us to stop TennCare drug fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We greatly appreciate their assistance to stop the illegal diversion of drugs paid for by the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and both sale and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance by fraud is a Class C felony, punishable by three to five years in prison. District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones 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, over 2,000 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."