|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 18, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Lawrence County man is charged with TennCare fraud and accused of selling prescription drugs obtained through TennCare, the state’s public healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), assisted by the Lawrenceburg Police Department, today announced the arrest of George Woods, 56, of Lawrenceburg. A Lawrence County indictment charges him with one count of TennCare fraud, two counts sale of Schedule III drug, the painkiller Hydrocodone, and two counts of sale of a Schedule II drug, the painkiller morphine. Woods is accused of obtaining TennCare benefits by means of a false statement, while planning to sell or otherwise distribute a portion of his prescription.
“Local police departments, sheriffs’ offices, pharmacies and other providers are all working together in the war against TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Tennesseans value the safety of their communities, and getting prescription drugs off the street is important to us all.”
If convicted, the TennCare fraud charge against Woods could result in a two year sentence, sale of a Schedule II drug is punishable by a sentence of three to six years per charge, and the sale of a Schedule III drug carries a two to four year sentence per charge. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms 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."