|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
Friday, February 24, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - Six people in White County are charged with TennCare fraud in a round-up that resulted from an undercover investigation of prescription drug fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and White County Sheriff’s narcotics officers conducted the six-month undercover operation, charging a total of 48 people for selling prescription drugs and six of them are accused of obtaining the drugs with TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
“Prescription drug abuse is a concern of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of local police like Detectives Craig Capps and Joey Williams of the White County Sheriff’s Office, we’re sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
The six arrested are:
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Randall A. York 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, nearly 1,500 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."