|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, APRIL 30, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rutherford County man has been charged with TennCare fraud for using his son’s TennCare benefits to pay for prescription drugs at a pharmacy.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with the Murfreesboro Police Department and the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of 31-year old Christopher B. Cregger, of Murfreesboro.
Cregger was charged with three counts of TennCare fraud, three counts of identity theft, and one count of criminal simulation. The charges against Cregger allege that on three separate occasions, Cregger used his son’s TennCare card and social security number to obtain prescription medication.
“Tennessee has worked to make sure eligible children have access to health insurance programs, but a child’s healthcare benefits cannot be used by other people,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
Identity theft is a Class D felony that carries a maximum of four years per charge in prison. Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison per charge. District Attorney William Whitesell, Jr. will prosecute.
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."