|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 23, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Campbell County man has been arrested a second time for using TennCare public healthcare insurance benefits to pay for fraudulent prescriptions.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Campbell and Anderson County Sheriff’s Offices, today announced the arrest of James T. Poor, 42, of LaFollette.
Poor was indicted by an Anderson County Grand Jury and charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The charges accuse Poor of obtaining fraudulent prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone, Lactulose – which is used to treat liver disease - and Penicillin, using TennCare to pay for the forged prescriptions. At the time he was charged, Poor was being held in the Campbell County Jail on unrelated charges and was later transported to the Anderson County Jail, where he was served with the indictment.
Poor was arrested in July of last year after a Campbell County grand jury indicted him for one count of TennCare fraud, and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud for using TennCare to pay for a fraudulent prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone.
“Local police as well as pharmacy providers are working arm-in-arm with us to bring an end to the abuse of TennCare, especially in the area of prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’ll keep pursuing people who commit these crimes as many times as it takes until they understand it’s simply not going to be tolerated.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General David Clark of Anderson County will prosecute this case.
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."