FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – Two women in Shelby County are charged in separate TennCare fraud cases, at least one involving prescription drugs. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests, in part aided by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Monique L. Neeley, 29, of Memphis, is charged with TennCare fraud for filling fraudulent prescriptions and using TennCare to pay for them. She is charged with four counts of TennCare fraud, four counts of identity theft, four counts of obtaining possession of a controlled substance by fraud and one count of theft of property. Neeley is accused of presenting forged prescriptions on four separate occasions, all involving the painkiller Hydrocodone, and bearing the name of a doctor, which Neeley was not authorized to use.
In the other case, 31-year old Ashley Mayes of Memphis is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and one count of theft of property. She is accused of knowingly receiving TennCare medical assistance benefits to which she was not entitled to receive by means of willfully making a false statement or other fraudulent means.
“With the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies and medical providers, we are aggressively pursuing anyone who commits TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Both obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and identity theft are Class D felonies that carry a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. Theft of property could result in a sentence up to four years per charge. District Attorney General Amy P. Weirich is prosecuting both cases.
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 1,700 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."