FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Dickson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with obtaining prescription drugs through the state’s Medicaid program and later selling a portion of the medication.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force and the Dickson County Sheriff’s Office today announced the arrest of Erica Nicole Crow, 21, of Dickson.
She is charged in an indictment with TennCare fraud and sale of a Schedule III controlled substance for selling the drug Buprenorphine, which is used to treat people with addiction to heroin and similar drugs. The prescription was obtained using TennCare benefits.
“Tennesseans will not tolerate people obtaining drugs through a taxpayer-funded entitlement program and then selling those drugs to others,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “That’s an abuse of an important program and it’s a public health threat.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison and sale of a Schedule III controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks 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, 2,051 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."