FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN – A Shelby County woman is charged with TennCare fraud in nearby Haywood County for using TennCare to pay for fraudulent prescriptions.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from Sheriff’s officers in Shelby and Haywood counties, today announced the arrest of Tameka S. Harris, 22, of Memphis.
Harris is charged in a Haywood County indictment with TennCare fraud and two counts of forgery for presenting a forged prescription at the pharmacy and paying for it with TennCare healthcare insurance benefits.
“The Office of Inspector General is working with local police and medical providers to stop TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We are committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and letting TennCare pick up the tab.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison per charge. District Attorney General Garry Brown 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 1,900 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."