|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE - A Grainger County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for using the state’s public healthcare insurance program to obtain prescription drugs, which she later sold.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Rutledge Police Department and the Grainger County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Chrystal M. Crowe, 35, of Rutledge.
Crowe was indicted on one count of TennCare fraud for presenting a prescription for Roxicodone, a brand version of the painkiller Oxycodone, using TennCare to pay for the prescription, while planning to sell a portion of the drug.
“There’s a price to pay for trying to use TennCare to finance a person’s prescription drug habit or their illegal drug business,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’re in the business of stopping this activity in the TennCare program, with pharmacists and doctors joining us in the effort.”
The TennCare fraud charges against Crowe could result in a two year sentence if convicted. District Attorney General James B. Dunn is prosecuting.
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."