|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JUNE 14, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Bedford County woman is charged with TennCare drug fraud for trying to obtain controlled substances, using TennCare as payment.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Sonya Leverette, 25, of Shelbyville. The arrest was assisted by the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office. She is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of using TennCare to try to acquire possession of a controlled substance.
“Committing a crime in order to obtain controlled substances through TennCare is a desperate act, but unfortunately one that many try to succeed with just to get painkillers or similar drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Doctors, pharmacists and other providers were glad to have our investigators to turn to in an effort to get prescription drug trafficking off the streets in our local communities.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Charles Crawford is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,100 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."