FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – Two Dyer County women are each charged with TennCare fraud, both in connection with prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Dawonna W. Wiggins, 38, of Dyersburg and Gina A. Singleteary, 45, of Bogota. The arrests are the result of a joint effort with the Dyer County Police Department.
Dawonna W. Wiggins is charged with TennCare fraud and sale of a Schedule III controlled substance. An indictment says she used TennCare benefits to pay for a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, part of which she later sold.
Gina A. Singleteary is charged with three counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain a controlled substance by “doctor shopping.” Her indictment says she fraudulently obtained the same or similar controlled substances from three different physicians within a short time period and used TennCare to pay for both the clinical visits and the prescriptions.
“Local police and healthcare providers are all working with us to bring an end to the abuse of the TennCare program, especially when it involves prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We will continue to pursue people who commit this crime until they understand TennCare fraud will not be tolerated.”
District Attorney General Phillip Bivens is prosecuting. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison.
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."