|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 17, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Sullivan County man is charged with TennCare fraud for filling prescriptions written for him, but using his son’s TennCare to pay for it.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of 37-year old Jeffrey A. Amyx, Sr., of Kingsport. He is charged with seven counts of TennCare fraud and seven counts of identity theft.
Charges against Amyx say that on seven separate occasions, he used his son’s TennCare card and social security number to pay for prescription medication. At the time he was indicted, he was serving jail time in Virginia on unrelated charges, and was transported to Sullivan County, Tennessee, when Virginia released him.
“Children make up more than half of the population in TennCare, and children from low-income or otherwise disadvantaged home situations deserve access to health care, but that doesn’t mean other family members can use their benefits,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
Identity theft is a Class D felony that carries a maximum of four years per charge in prison. Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General H. Greeley Wells, Jr. will prosecute.
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 1,400 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."