|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Scott County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Barbara Jane Strunk, 41, of Oneida. Her arrest was the result of a joint investigation with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office.
Strunk has been charged with one count of TennCare fraud. She is accused of filling a prescription for the painkiller Percocet, which was paid for by TennCare, while concealing the fact she planned to sell a portion of the prescription.
“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state, as they often encounter prescription drug cases before they discover TennCare was involved,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we’re doing our part to stop abusers who are supporting this lifestyle with TennCare.”
If convicted of the TennCare fraud charge, Strunk faces a possible jail sentence of two years. District Attorney William P. Phillips is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.6 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $165 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 920 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."