|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MARCH 21, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – Three people are charged with TennCare fraud after an undercover investigation and round-up referred to by police as “Lucky Charms,” that targeted prescription drug fraud and abuse in Coffee County. The operation involved Manchester Police, the Coffee County Sheriff and the Office of Inspector General (OIG), which investigates member fraud in the TennCare public healthcare insurance program.
In total, 48 people were arrested, with three facing TennCare fraud charges:
“Local police – Manchester Police Department and The Coffee County Sheriff’s Office – were key to building these cases and helping us make these arrests,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Any drug that’s prescribed for one individual may not be appropriate for another, and may even cause harm or death for other people.
“We’re intent on getting this activity out of the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General C. Michael Layne 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."