|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Roane County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for using the program to pay for fraudulent prescriptions.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) with assistance from Roane County Sheriff’s Officers today announced the arrest of Laura Ferguson, 23, of Kingston. She is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud in an indictment accusing her of presenting forged prescriptions for the painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare benefits to pay for the forged prescriptions.
“We are pursuing cases across the state with a commitment to stop TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Drug fraud is not tolerated in TennCare, and we intend to weed this crime out of the program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General David Clark 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."