|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MARCH 6, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – TennCare fraud charges are lodged today against six people in Coffee County in a roundup stemming from an undercover investigation targeting individuals selling prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), working with the Tullahoma Police Department in a six month undercover operation, has charged six of 14 people arrested today with selling prescription drugs originally obtained and paid for by TennCare.
“Local law enforcement officials have really been aggressive in helping us in this war against TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “By pooling our resources with local officials, we are all covering much more ground and making more progress in tackling the drug fraud problem, especially when people try to use public dollars to finance it.”
The six arrested today are:
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General C. Michael Layne will be prosecuting these cases.
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. To date, over 900 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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."