|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Giles County man is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs which were paid for by TennCare healthcare insurance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Lacy Frank Walls, Jr., 58, of Pulaski, after a joint investigation with the 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force. He is charged in connection with using TennCare medical benefits to obtain a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, while planning to illegally sell some or all of the pills.
“Communities, local police, and healthcare providers across the state are joining with us in focusing on prescription drug abuse, especially when TennCare is involved,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We’re working with local authorities in communities throughout Tennessee to stop those who are reselling their prescription drugs.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Walls could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Mike Bottoms 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."