|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
SEQUATCHIE COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED FOR 3RD TIME WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Sequatchie County woman has been charged for the third time with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Krissie N. Deweese, 29, of Dunlap. Deweese was indicted in Hamilton County on two counts of fraudulently using TennCare to obtain controlled substances by “doctor shopping.” The indictment says she failed to disclose to her doctor she had seen other physicians within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the strong painkiller Hydrocodone or similar drugs. She has also been charged for similar crimes in Sequatchie County on two separate occasions.
Deweese was arrested in April 2006 for attempting to sell the painkiller Oxycodone, paid for by TennCare, to an undercover agent. She was under supervised probation for the charges when she was arrested again in March of this year, this time for one count of “doctor shopping” for the painkiller Percocet.
“The lure of prescription drugs can sometimes be too strong for some people, but we’re sending a strong message that we will not allow TennCare to be abused in this manner,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said.
TennCare fraud involving doctor shopping is a class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years per charge in prison. District Attorney General William H. Cox 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."