|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 20, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – Four people are charged separately with TennCare fraud in Coffee and Shelby Counties, with all the cases involving efforts to obtain prescription pain medication, using TennCare benefits to pay for them.
“Governor Haslam and the General Assembly have zero tolerance for TennCare fraud and abuse, especially when it comes to selling prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The Office of Inspector General is collaborating with law enforcement officers in all 95 Tennessee counties to lock up anyone we identify who is involved in prescription drug abuse, particularly those who misuse their TennCare benefits.”
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of the four:
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General C. Michael Layne will prosecute the Coffee County cases, and District Attorney General Amy T. Weirich is prosecuting the Shelby Co case.
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."