|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JUNE 1, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Four people are charged with TennCare fraud in separate cases stretching from Woodbury to Erwin, Tennessee
The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) today announced the four arrests, which all involve individuals obtaining prescription medications paid for by TennCare, with the intent of selling them.
The arrests include:
If convicted, Shelton could be sentenced to up to six years on the charges, which are class D and E felonies. The other three could be sentenced up to two years for the TennCare fraud charge which is a class E felony. District Attorney General Anthony Clark will be prosecuting the three Unicoi cases and District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr., will be handling Mayfield-Odom’s case.
"The fraudulent misuse of TennCare pharmacy benefits is simply no longer being tolerated by communities, providers and law enforecement,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. "We are working closely with local law enforcement agencies and pharmacies across the state to investigate and prosecute these types of crimes."
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."