|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN - A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by the TennCare program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Lillian Nichole Ward, 39, of McMinnville, after a joint investigation with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.
Ward is charged with one count of TennCare fraud, one count of delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance, and one count of delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance. She is accused of obtaining TennCare benefits by means of fraud, and of twice selling portions of prescriptions for pain medications that were paid for by TennCare. The drugs involved were Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.
“Local police and providers have joined us in the war against TennCare fraud, and we are committed to stopping this activity,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Doctors and pharmacists across the state are helping us work to stifle illicit drug sales involving TennCare.”
Delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance charge is a Class C felony, carrying a possible sentence of three to six years, while delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison. TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison.
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 1,600 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.