FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE, TN –A Giles County man is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Willie G. McWilliams, 43, of Pulaski, after a joint investigation with the Giles County Sheriff’s Department.
McWilliams has been charged with four counts of TennCare fraud along with six counts of selling narcotics in drug-free zones. He’s accused of filling prescriptions for Lortab and Morphine, using TennCare benefits, and on four occasions, selling a portion of the pills in a school zone.
“Communities and local police across the state are working to eliminate the illegal sale of prescription drugs – and committing this crime in a school zone raises it to an even more egregious level,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “We all have zero tolerance for this, especially when public healthcare dollars are spent to finance these transactions.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge, sale of a Schedule III controlled substance is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years in prison and sale of a Schedule II controlled substance is a Class C felony carrying a sentence of up to six years in prison. 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 1,900 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."