|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Van Buren County couple is charged with TennCare fraud for fraudulently obtaining prescription drugs in White County, with the intent to resell the medication.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 65-year old Doug Taylor and his wife Thelma, 64, both of Spencer. The Taylors were arrested with the assistance of the Van Buren Sheriff’s Office, and the White County Police Department.
The Taylors are both charged with fraudulently obtaining prescriptions for the painkillers Tramadol and Darvocet with the intent of selling at least a portion of the medications. The Taylors used TennCare to pay for the drugs.
“Prescription drug abuse is no longer tolerated in the TennCare program,” 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. District Attorney General Randy York will be 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.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."