FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Warren County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for apparently selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Deborah Ann Evans, 45, of Manchester, after a joint investigation with the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. She is charged with TennCare fraud and two counts of delivery of Schedule III controlled substance.
Authorities accuse Evans of obtaining Hydrocodone, a strong painkiller, using TennCare benefits, and later selling a portion of the drugs.
“Prescription drugs are legal, but abuse is illegal drug use and we won’t tolerate this in the state’s public healthcare insurance program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “People selling or buying prescription drugs are participating in a crime that providers, law enforcement and local communities want to stop.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. The delivery of a Schedule III controlled substance is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Lisa S. Zavogiannis 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 1,900 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."