|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD ARRESTS IN MANCHESTER, OAK RIDGE, TAZEWELL
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three people are charged with TennCare fraud in separate cases in Manchester, Oak Ridge and Tazewell.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests, all relating to prescription drugs.
Lance R. Carter, 31, of Tazewell, is accused of selling the painkiller Oxycodone after using TennCare to pay for the prescription. His arrest was assisted by the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office. Carter is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of sell or delivery of a controlled substance. District Attorney General William Paul Phillips will prosecute. If convicted, Carter could serve up to two years for the TennCare fraud which is a Class E felony while the sell of a controlled substance is a Class C felony, carrying a possible sentence of three to six years.
Amber N. Conn, 23, of Manchester, is charged with one count of TennCare fraud for using TennCare benefits to pay for a prescription of the pain killer Hydrocodone and later selling a portion to an undercover agent. District Attorney General J. Michael Layne will prosecute.
In Oak Ridge, Matthew D. Johnson, 19, is charged with one count of TennCare fraud and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. Johnson is accused of presenting a forged prescription for the pain killer Hydrocodone, attempting to use TennCare to pay for the forged prescription. District Attorney General David Clark will prosecute.
“Prescription drug abuse is a concern of communities large and small across Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “With the help of local police like the officers, we’re sending a message that abusing TennCare will have serious repercussions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison.
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."