FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Dyer County man is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs he obtained using TennCare public healthcare insurance benefits. It’s his second arrest for TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Jay Burton, 54, of Dyersburg. The Dyer County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.
Burton is charged with TennCare fraud and sale of a Schedule II controlled substance in connection with using TennCare to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Morphine while planning to sell a portion of the drugs.
Burton was first arrested by the OIG on October 15, 2012, when he was among three people arrested and charged with TennCare fraud after a round-up that netted 37 arrests on indictments for drug charges in Dyer County. Burton was accused of TennCare fraud and sale of a Schedule III controlled substance. On that occasion, TennCare was used to purchase the painkiller Hydrocodone, a portion of which was later sold to an undercover agent.
“Medical providers and law enforcement professionals do not tolerate this kind of abuse of the TennCare program, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “The Office of Inspector General will aggressively prosecute every one of these cases to the fullest extent possible.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Sale of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony carrying a sentence of up to six years in prison. District Attorney General C. Phillip Bivens 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 1,700 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."