|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MAY 14, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Lincoln County resident has been charged with TennCare fraud for selling pain pills that were paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Brenda F. Peden, 43, of Flintville. Peden is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud for illegally selling a portion of prescriptions for the painkiller Lortab and Aderall, an amphetamine, which was obtained through TennCare. The charges stem from an investigation conducted by the OIG and the Fayetteville Police Department.
“We’re committed to preserving TennCare and eliminating drug diversion subsidized through the taxpayer-funded program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are working hard along with local law enforcement agencies as well as doctors and pharmacies to stop this activity.”
If convicted Peden could face up to two years per charge for the TennCare fraud charges. District Attorney General Charles Crawford will prosecute.
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.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."