|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 26, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
SUMNER COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH AIDING FRIEND IN TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Sumner County man is accused of aiding and abetting a friend in her attempt to fraudulently acquire a controlled substance.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Thomas “Chris” McDonald, 27, of Henning. McDonald was transported from a state prison, where he is currently lodged on unrelated charges, to Sumner County where he was arraigned on a TennCare fraud charge.
McDonald is accused of helping a Hendersonville woman who used a forged prescription to obtain a prescription pain medication. The woman, Ashley N. Menke, was arrested earlier this month on one count of TennCare fraud.
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. District Attorney General Lawrence R. Whitley is prosecuting.
The TennCare fraud charge against Ellis could result in a two year sentence, and the sale of a controlled substance charge is a class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison 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 $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,000 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."