|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Grainger County woman has been sentenced after pleading guilty to TennCare fraud.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that Connie L. Chamberlain, 35, of Luttrell, pleaded guilty to one felony count of TennCare fraud, one count of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud and one count of simple possession of a Schedule III (three) controlled substance. The charges against Chamberlain accuse her of using TennCare to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Lorcet – a form of hydrocodone – with a forged prescription.
Chamberlain pleaded guilty to all three charges. The court sentenced her to three years, with 60-days to serve and the remainder on supervised probation. She was also ordered to be removed from TennCare and will no longer be eligible for the program. And, she was assessed a court fine of $1,350. District Attorney General James B. Dunn prosecuted this case.
"We are working hard to press charges against anyone misusing TennCare,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People are getting the message that Tennessee is pursuing TennCare fraud with a full court approach."
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $159 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 900 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.tncarefraud.tennessee.gov and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."