|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, JULY 11, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A White County man is charged in Coffee County with TennCare fraud involving the resale of prescription medication.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) announced that 62-year old Carl F. Smith, of Sparta, has been indicted on one count of TennCare fraud. He is accused of using TennCare benefits to obtain a prescription for the strong painkiller morphine, while planning to sell a portion of the pills. The White County Sheriff’s Department assisted in Smith’s arrest.
“Selling prescription drugs to other people is not only illegal, but endangers many other people, and can be fatal,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “While there are more restrictions on these drugs than there have been in the past, we aggressively pursue these cases when we get tipped off to them.”
If convicted, Smith could each spend up to two years in prison. District Attorney General C. Michael Layne 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, nearly 1,500 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."