|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
KNOX COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Knox County woman is charged with using TennCare to pay for fraudulent prescriptions.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of 48-year old Victoria Ann Purciful, also known as Victoria Ann Tramel and Victoria Peters. She was indicted by a Knox County Grand Jury on eight counts of acquiring and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, one count of theft and eight counts of TennCare fraud.
On eight separate occasions, Purciful presented fraudulent prescriptions for the pain reliever Tramadol and Suboxone, which is used to treat morphine and heroin addition, at a pharmacy in Knoxville, using TennCare to pay for the fraudulent prescriptions.
“This case was brought to our attention by the local police and an attentive and quick-thinking provider,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “They are often the first to encounter people who commit prescription drug fraud, and their cooperation is helping us win the war against TennCare fraud.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and theft are both Class D felonies that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Randall Nichols is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,100 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."