|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, AUGUST 17, 2012
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – An Overton County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs that were paid for by TennCare near a local high school.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Natalie N. Chaffin, 27, of Livingston, after a joint investigation with the Overton County Sheriff’s Office.
Chaffin has been charged with TennCare fraud and delivery of a Scheduled II controlled substance within 1,000 feet of public school property in Livingston. She’s accused of obtaining the painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare benefits to pay for the prescription and later selling a portion of her drugs near the school.
“This case is particularly egregious since the drugs were sold near a public school attended by children from the community,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse and the Office of Inspector General is collaborating closely with them to stop people who insist on supporting this lifestyle with the TennCare program.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, while the delivery of a Schedule II controlled substance charge is a Class C felony, carrying a possible sentence of three to six years. District Attorney General Randall A. York 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."