|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Dickson County woman is accused of TennCare fraud for using benefits to pay for forged prescriptions for the addictive painkiller Hydrocodone.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of 20-year old Laura Beth Roberts of Dickson. Roberts’ arrest was assisted by the Dickson County Police Department.
Roberts is accused of submitting forged prescriptions for Hydrocodone on nine separate occasions and using TennCare benefits to pay for the prescriptions. Roberts has been charged with nine counts of TennCare fraud.
“Hydrocodone abuse and addiction are powerful issues for law enforcement, but with the help of local officers and healthcare providers, we are waging war on prescription drug fraud of any kind in TennCare,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We appreciate the providers, local law enforcement officials and citizens who provide us with valuable information in our efforts to identify and prosecute TennCare fraud.”
District Attorney General Dan M. Alsobrooks will prosecute the case. Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison per charge.
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 1,240 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."