FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – After being on the run for four months, a Robertson County woman has been arrested in Greenville, North Carolina, and returned to Tennessee on TennCare fraud charges.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the 19th Judicial Drug Task Force and the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Michelle Dawn O’Quinn, 32, of Greenville, North Carolina, where she was residing.
O’Quinn was indicted by a Robertson County Grand Jury in November of last year, when she was charged with TennCare fraud and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. She’s accused of using TennCare benefits to pay for a fraudulent prescription for Opana ER, an opioid painkiller, at a pharmacy in Springfield, Tennessee.
"The unauthorized use and abuse of prescription drugs is an intolerable crime, especially when it involves the misuse of the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. "We’re committed to ensuring TennCare benefits are not used for criminal activity."
District Attorney General John W. Carney agreed to have O’Quinn extradited from North Carolina back to Tennessee where she was served with the sealed indictment.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and both sale and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. District Attorney General John W. Carney 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, 2,064 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."