|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
WARREN COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with the purchase of controlled substances for resale.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Judy Renee Juarez, 32, of McMinnville, also known as Judy Renee West or Judy Renee Serna.
Juarez is accused of using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Oxycodone, later selling a portion of the drugs to an undercover agent. She’s charged with one count of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance, one count of making a false report and one count of TennCare fraud.
“TennCare fraud crosses all social, economic and professional lines,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People committing TennCare fraud are taking something they’re not entitled to, and the chance of getting caught has increased substantially in Tennessee – and that can mean prison time, making restitution and losing TennCare benefits for the future.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison; and, delivery of a controlled substance is a Class D felony punishable by up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Lisa S. Zavogiannis is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,100 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."