|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
TWO PEOPLE IN PUTNAM COUNTY CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Two people in Putnam County are charged with TennCare fraud in a grand jury indictment accusing them of selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests of Matthew Redden, 33, and Joshua M. Warden, 26, both from Monterey. The arrests are the result of a joint effort with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI). Each man is charged with selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
Redden used TennCare to pay for a prescription of Suboxone, a drug used to treat morphine and heroin addiction, and selling a portion of the pills to an undercover officer. He’s charged with one count of TennCare fraud. Warden is accused of using TennCare to pay for prescriptions of the painkillers endocet and oxycodone, and selling a portion to an undercover agent. He is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud.
“We are putting a stop to people using TennCare to finance the illegal trafficking of controlled narcotics and other drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “These suspects not only used TennCare to pay for their drugs, they also used TennCare transportation to take them to get the drugs.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison on each count. District Attorney General Randy York 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."