|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Three mid-state residents have been charged with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Tina Spears, 44, of Antioch in Davidson County, along with two people from Rutherford County, Donna Lonza, 32, of LaVergne and Marquita Wilson, 20, of Smyrna. Their arrests were assisted by the Smyrna Police Department Narcotics Division.
Tina Spears is charged with one count of TennCare fraud, and one count of sale of a Schedule II controlled substance. Spears is accused of using TennCare benefits to pay for a prescription of the painkiller Oxydodone and later selling a portion of the drugs.
Donna Lonza has been charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and ten counts of obtaining a Schedule III controlled substance by fraud. Charges accuse her of presenting fraudulent prescriptions for the painkiller Lortab on ten separate occasions, each time intending to sell portion of the drugs.
Marquita Wilson was indicted on two counts of TennCare fraud and three counts of obtaining a Schedule III controlled substance by fraud. Wilson used TennCare to pay for fraudulent prescriptions for the painkiller Lortab on three separate occasions and later sold a portion of the drugs.
"Our mission is to protect the TennCare program, by stopping fraud and abuse, especially in the area of prescription drugs," Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Local law enforcement officers have been incredibly helpful to the OIG with catching people who are selling prescription drugs obtained through TennCare.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr. is prosecuting.