|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
MONROE, RUTHERFORD COUNTIANS SENTENCED FOR TENNCARE FRAUD CONVICTIONS
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three people from Monroe and Rutherford Counties have been sentenced on TennCare fraud convictions. TennCare fraud is a class E felony carrying a prison sentence of up to two years for each charge.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the court actions:
- Kevin R. Auberry, 22, of Murfreesboro, pleaded guilty to two counts of TennCare fraud and two counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The charges stem from “doctor shopping” charges against Auberry accusing him of failing to disclose to his doctor that he had seen other physicians within a 30-day period and received prescriptions for the strong painkillers Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Tylenol 3, with the prescriptions being paid for by TennCare. He received a two-year sentence in a state prison, suspended to two years of supervised probation. As part of his probation, Auberry must complete 200 hours of community service and be subject to random drug screens as well as paying $1,700 in court costs and fines. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr. prosecuted the case.
- Leasia G. Summey, 46, of Vonore in Monroe County, pleaded guilty to one count of sale and delivery of a scheduled III controlled substance – in this case, the painkiller Hydrocodone. Summey was sentenced to three years in prison, suspended to three years of probation. She was also ordered to pay $2,041.56 in fines and restitution. Summey was arrested last month for obtaining Hydrocodone by a forged prescription, using TennCare to pay for it and then reselling a portion of the prescription.
- Robert S. Cross, 44, of Vonore, pleaded guilty to one count of TennCare fraud and one count of sale and delivery of a schedule III controlled substance – in his case, the painkiller Hydrocodone. Cross was arrested in August, charged with fraudulently obtaining a prescription for Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for it and later selling a portion of the pills. He was sentenced to three years in prison to run concurrent with a two year sentence for TennCare fraud. Cross was also ordered to pay $2,000 in fines. District Attorney General Steven Bibb prosecuted both Monroe County cases.
“Providers, local law enforcement and state agencies are no longer tolerating this kind of blatant abuse of TennCare, especially when it relates to addictive prescription painkillers,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We are committed to eliminating the incidence of people fraudulently obtaining drugs and trying to use TennCare to pick up the tab.”
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."