FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – Two Rutherford County women are charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Eva Boutwell, 24, of LaVergne and Brittany King, 22, of Murfreesboro, after a joint investigation with the Smyrna Police Department Narcotics Division.
Eva Boutwell is charged with one count of TennCare fraud for using TennCare to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, while planning to sell at least a portion of the drugs.
The other woman, Brittany King, is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of sale of a Schedule III controlled substance, Buprenorphine, which is a generic version of Suboxone, used to treat heroin addiction by mimicking the effect of heroin without addiction. Johnson is accused of using TennCare to obtain the drugs, and twice selling a portion of a prescription.
“Local police and community leaders are targeting prescription drug abuse in communities across the state,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re committed to weeding out those members of TennCare who are using the program in this way.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, while the sale of a Schedule III controlled substance charge is a Class C felony, carrying a possible sentence of three to six years. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. is prosecuting these cases.
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 1,700 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."