|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - After being on the run for nine months, a Humphreys County man is charged with selling prescription drugs purchased using TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with the assistance of the Humphrey’s County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of Gary Burke, 55, of Waverly.
A Humphreys County Grand Jury indicted Burke in June of last year on two counts of TennCare fraud and four counts of sale of a legend drug. Burke was accused of using TennCare to get obtain Trazodone, an anti-depressant, while planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
"Using TennCare to obtain and sell strong prescription drugs is simply not tolerated – not by citizens, pharmacies or elected officials,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re maximizing our efforts to catch and prosecute those who are committing this crime.”
The TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Sale of a Legend drug is a Class C Misdemeanor. District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks 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 1,380 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."