|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, MAY 10, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Scott County Grand Jury has charged three with TennCare fraud related to allegedly selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrests of Jody H. Butler, 32, Tony Neal, 41 and Sean Patrick Oliver, 44, all from Scott County. These arrests are the result of a joint effort with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
Butler and Oliver were arrested on indictments alleging they each in separate incidents fraudulently obtained Hydrocodone using their TennCare to pay for the physician’s visit. Neal was indicted for allegedly obtaining Oxycodone using his TennCare to pay for the medical visit. After obtaining the prescriptions, Butler, Neal and Oliver all resold a portion of the pills to an undercover agent.
“The illegal sale of prescription drugs is a problem across the state of Tennessee. Not only did these individuals use TennCare to pay for their drugs, they also used TennCare to pay for their ride to pick up their drugs. We simply will not tolerate these actions,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare – and those who buy them – should understand this is a serious crime we intend to prosecute.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General William Paul Phillips is 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."