|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A woman from Jefferson County has been charged in Knox County with TennCare fraud for trying to use TennCare to pay for a forged prescription.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Alicia D. Boling, 21, of Strawberry Plains. Boling faces one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The Knox County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrest.
Boling is accused of presenting a forged prescription to a pharmacy in Knox County for the painkiller Suboxone, which is an opioid medication similar to morphine, codeine, and heroin, but it produces less euphoric effects and is used to treat addiction to those substances. Boling had attempted to use TennCare to pay for the forged prescription.
“This is a great example of a pharmacy that was alert to the tactics some have used to obtain addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Tennessee pharmacies are getting more and more aware of the tactics of people trying to fraudulently obtain addictive drugs, and we depend on them to help us identify these cases so we can prosecute them.”
TennCare Fraud is a Class E Felony, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D Felony, which carries a penalty of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General Randall Nichols will be 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 $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 920 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."