|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Robertson County man is charged with TennCare fraud for using his TennCare benefits to fill prescriptions for someone who was not enrolled in TennCare, the public healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Pleasant View Police Department and the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of 28-year old James Marvin Pope.
Pope was charged with five counts of TennCare fraud. Charges against him say that on five separate occasions, Pope used his TennCare benefits to obtain prescriptions for a person with a similar name at the local Wal-Mart Pharmacy in Springfield, Tennessee.
“This is a great example of a pharmacy that was alert to certain tactics used to illegally obtain prescription drugs,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “It’s a tremendous asset to have pharmacies tuned in to fraud, as the OIG continues to go after these cases and prosecute them.”
Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General John W. Carney will prosecute.
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, nearly 1,500 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."