|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – TennCare fraud charges are filed against three people in Rutherford County in a round-up targeting people selling prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Smyrna Police Department Narcotics Division worked together in an undercover operation leading to charges against a total of five people for selling prescription drugs. Three of them are accused of selling prescription drugs that were paid for by TennCare.
“Local law enforcement officials have been aggressive in helping us with the problem of prescription drug fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “By pooling our resources, we are all covering more ground and making progress in tackling the drug fraud problem, especially when people try to use public dollars to finance it.”
The three charged with TennCare fraud are:
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr. 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 $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 1,380 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."