|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
WILSON COUNTY MAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Wilson County man is charged in connection with fraudulently using TennCare to purchase prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Clyde M. Turner, 58, of Lebanon. His arrest was assisted by the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office and the Lebanon Police Department.
Turner is charged with one count of fraudulently obtaining TennCare benefits by using TennCare to pay for fraudulently obtained medication.
"Pharmacists understand that sometimes people will go to any lengths to obtain prescription painkillers, and they have a keen awareness of the tactics used,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We’ve worked with pharmacies and providers across the state to let them know without doubt that we are pursuing these cases without prejudice.”
Illegally obtaining TennCare medical benefits is a Class E felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison, and up to a $3,000 fine. District Attorney General Tom P. Thompson will prosecute this case.
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."