|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Maury County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud for selling prescription drugs paid for by TennCare.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Vera M. Garrett, 65, of Columbia, after a joint investigation with the Maury County Sheriff’s Office.
Garrett has been charged with two counts of TennCare fraud. She is accused of filling a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone from a pharmacy in Columbia, which was paid for by TennCare, then selling a portion of the pills.
“Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we are doing our part to stop abusers who are abusing the TennCare program,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “The OIG is solely focused on investigating, detecting, and prosecuting TennCare fraud.”
The TennCare fraud charge against Garrett could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney Mike Bottoms is prosecuting.
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."