|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, MAY 13, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Roane County man is charged with TennCare fraud in connection with an undercover police investigation led by the narcotics unit at the Harriman Police Department.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from Roane and Anderson County Sheriff’s Departments, today announced the arrest of Darren Steinmetz, 47, of Harriman.
Steinmetz has been indicted by an Anderson County Grand Jury and charged with one count of TennCare fraud. He’s accused of getting TennCare medical assistance by knowingly obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Lortab for fraudulent purposes.
“The abuse of TennCare benefits may have been easy to get by with years ago, but those days are gone,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner continued: ““We have open cases in almost every county in Tennessee and are working closely with local police departments such as the Harriman Police Department’s Narcotics Unit.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Steinmetz is a Class E felony and could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General David Clark is prosecuting.
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 1,400 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."