|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Maury County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for filling fraudulent prescriptions and using TennCare to pay for them.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), along with the Maury County Sheriff’s Department, today announced the arrest of 25-year old Cassandra Southall, of Santa Fe.
Southall was charged with two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of forgery. The charges against Southall accuse her of presenting a forged prescription for 60 pills each of the painkiller Hydrocodone, and the anti-anxiety medications Alprazolam and Adderall. She’s accused of using TennCare to pay for the Hydrocodone and the Adderall.
“With the cooperation of local law enforcement agencies and medical providers, we are aggressively going after anyone who commits TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Most people who commit crimes don’t worry about the consequences of getting caught, but we’re sending a message that we are pursuing these cases to the fullest extent.”
If convicted, Southall could be sentenced up to two years per charge for the TennCare fraud charges, a Class E felony. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms will be prosecuting this case.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,240 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."