|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, APRIL 22, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - An Anderson County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for taking forged prescriptions to a local pharmacy to be filled, on four separate occasions, and using TennCare to pay for the drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced charges are filed against Amanda Bishop Norris, 34, of Oak Ridge. She faces four counts of TennCare fraud and four counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.
Norris is accused of presenting forged prescriptions for the painkiller Hydrocodone and paying for it with TennCare benefits.
"Communities large and small across Tennessee are making an effort to eliminate prescription drug abuse," Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "With their help, we're making sure that people who try to use TennCare to get prescription drugs fraudulently for themselves or to sell to others will face serious consequences."
TennCare Fraud is a Class E Felony, which carries a penalty of up to two years in prison per charge. Obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D Felony, which carries a penalty of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General David Clark will be 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."