|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Davidson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for trying to fill fraudulent prescriptions and use TennCare to pay for the drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) along with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department today announced the arrest of Melanie A. Pullens, 19, of Nashville.
Pullens was charged with one count of TennCare fraud, one count of identity theft, and one count of obtaining a scheduled drug by fraud. The charges against Pullens say she presented a forged prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone bearing the name and DEA number of a healthcare provider.
If convicted, Pullens could be sentenced up to two years on the TennCare fraud charge, a class E felony. District Attorney Victor S. Johnson, III will be prosecuting this case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $159 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures.
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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."