|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
Monday, February 27, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - The arrest of three people in Trousdale County brings the total number of arrests for TennCare fraud to 1,601, since the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was formed and given authority to pursue fraud cases.
The three arrests all involve prescription drug fraud with TennCare benefits used as payment.
“Many people are now using prescription drugs instead of ‘street drugs,’ making our efforts more critical to keep fraud out of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The Special Agents of the OIG are working throughout the Tennessee pursuing people who abuse TennCare.”
The three arrested are:
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson 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, over 1,600 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."