|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE –A Rutherford County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Cheyenne Felts, 31, of Smyrna, after a joint investigation with the Smyrna Police Department.
Felts is charged with three counts of TennCare fraud and three counts of sale of a controlled substance. Charges accuse her of using TennCare benefits to obtain prescriptions for amphetamine and the painkiller Buprenorphine, while planning to unlawfully sell a portion of the prescriptions.
“The Office of Inspector General is partnering with law enforcement agencies across the state to stop TennCare fraud particularly as it applies to individuals who sell prescription drugs in our communities in Tennessee,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse and we will continue to do all we can to support their efforts.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and sale of a Schedule III controlled substance is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison, while the sale of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony, carrying a possible sentence of three to six years. District Attorney General William C. Whitesell, Jr. 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 1,600 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."