|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Weakley County woman has been arrested and charged with trading her child’s prescription drugs, paid for by TennCare, for a strong and addictive painkiller.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Tina Christiansen, 40, of Sharon, Tennessee. She was arrested after a joint investigation with the Martin Police Department and the Union City Police Department.
The arrest warrant charges Christiansen with attempting to divert a portion of her child’s prescription for Vyvanse, an attention deficit disorder drug, for morphine pills she planned to use – in a deal arranged through text messaging.
“This type of drug diversion is especially outrageous and troubling when a child is prescribed a medcation and it is traded for a strong narcotic,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “TennCare fraud is a crime and the Office of Inspector General is in all 95 counties across Tennessee in an effort to lock up anyone who tries this type of criminal activity.”
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 1,600 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."