|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Knox County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in Anderson County for forging a prescription for pain medication and attempting to have TennCare pay for it.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 39-year old Jennifer A. Sharpe has been charged with TennCare fraud for attempting to use TennCare to pay for a fraudulent prescription for the painkiller Roxicodone, a form of Oxycodone. Sharpe’s arrest was assisted by the Knox and Anderson County Sheriff’s Office. Sharpe has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of attempt to obtain a controlled substance by fraud.
“Providers, local law enforcement and state agencies are simply no longer tolerating this abuse of TennCare, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re intent on prosecuting every one of these cases to the fullest extent possible anytime TennCare is involved.”
If convicted, Sharpe could be sentenced up to two years for the TennCare fraud charge and up to four years for the attempt to obtain a controlled substance by fraud charge. District Attorney General David Clark 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."