|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, JULY 20, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Claiborne County Grand Jury has charged a man and a woman with TennCare fraud for allegedly selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Charity A. Cupp, 42, of Cumberland Gap and Henry Ford Rouse, 48, of Speedwell. The arrests are the result of a joint investigation with the Claiborne County Sheriff’s Office.
Cupp and Rouse were arrested on separate indictments alleging they fraudulently obtained prescription drugs, using TennCare. Cupp is accused of using TennCare to obtain the painkiller Oxycontin. Rouse is accused of using TennCare to obtain Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication. After obtaining the prescriptions, both Cupp and Rouse resold a portion of the pills.
“The illegal trafficking of prescription drugs is a serious crime that communities, law enforcement and healthcare providers are working together to eliminate,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We will pursue charges against any and all TennCare enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare, as well as those who buy them.”
Cupp is charged with one count each of TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule II controlled substance and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance. Rouse is charged with one count each of TennCare fraud, sale of a Schedule IV controlled substance, and of delivery of a Schedule IV controlled substance.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. The sale of and delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance are Class C felonies that carries a sentence of up to six years in prison. The sale of and deliver of a Schedule IV controlled substance are Class D felonies carrying a sentence of up to four years. District Attorney General William Paul Phillips 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 1,700 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."