|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, APRIL 6, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Cheatham County woman has been charged in Davidson County with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) assisted the Metro Nashville and Cheatham County Police Departments in the arrest of Brenda Faye Sindelar, 60, of Ashland City.
Sindelar is charged with one count of TennCare fraud, one count of selling a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. She is accused of obtaining Suboxone paid for in part by TennCare, then selling a portion of the prescription in a drugstore parking lot. Suboxone is used to treat addiction to opiates, which are painkillers such as morphine, codeine, heroin and hydrocodone.
“We strongly believe in the mission of the TennCare program and we are committed to protecting the integrity of TennCare with direct strikes on all fraud and abuse in the program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Metro Nashville police and local providers are all working hard to help us in the war against TennCare fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Victor S. Johnson, III is prosecuting.
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."