|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2008
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE -A Dekalb County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for obtaining prescription medications with TennCare benefits, with the intent of selling the drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Shelly F. Beene, 27, of Alexandria. Beene was arrested on an indictment accusing her of fraudulently obtaining a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the prescription, with the intent of selling a portion of the pills.
“The illegal trafficking of prescription drugs has been a problem in Tennessee, and we are no longer tolerating it in the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Enrollees who participate in selling drugs paid for by TennCare – and those who buy them – should understand this is a serious crime we intend to prosecute.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison. Acting District Attorney General Anthony J. Craighead is prosecuting.
The OIG, a law enforcement agency separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has worked cases leading to the arrest of over 760 individuals for TennCare fraud, with nearly $1 million paid in restitution to TennCare, and total estimated cost avoidance in TennCare of over $122 million, according to latest figures.
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."