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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, FEB. 6, 2014

 
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
615.532.8560 (OFFICE)

    
     

TWO WOMEN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD IN LAUDERDALE CO.

NASHVILLE, TN – Two women are charged with TennCare fraud in Lauderdale County.  One of the women is charged with TennCare doctor shopping and the other is accused of selling prescription drugs obtained with TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests:

  • Brenda Faye Allen, 47, of Ripley, charged with four counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by doctor shopping for controlled substances.  The doctor’s office visits and the prescriptions were paid for with TennCare benefits.
  • Carissa Deawn White, 21, of Halls, charged with TennCare fraud and possession of a Schedule III controlled substance with the intent to deliver, after a joint investigation with the Halls Police Department.  The drug involved, Hydrocodone, was paid for by TennCare.

“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they often discover a TennCare element during local drug investigations,” Inspector General Deborah 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.”

Both cases were referred to the OIG by the 25th Judicial District Attorney General’s Office.

TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge.  Possession of a Schedule III controlled substance with the intent to deliver is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General Michael Dunavant 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."