|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 13, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Rutherford County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud related to selling prescription drugs that were paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 28-year old Tiffany C. Handley. The arrest was the result of a joint undercover operation lead by Detective Jeremy Weaver with the Narcotics Divisions of the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
Handley was arrested on an indictment accusing her of fraudulently obtaining a prescription for Subutex, a narcotic medication that is similar to morphine, codeine, and heroin, used to treat narcotic addiction. She used TennCare to pay for the prescription, and then sold a portion of the pills.
“The illegal trafficking of TennCare drugs is a problem across the state, and we simply will not tolerate it,” 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 per charge. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr. is prosecuting.
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."