|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
THREE CANNON COUNTY RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Three Cannon County residents are charged with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Nina Mayfield-Odom 30, and Doyle Mooneyham, 41, and Angela Trisler, 31, all of Woodbury. The arrests were the result of a joint effort by the OIG and the Cannon County Sheriff’s Office.
Odom and Mooneyham are accused of working together to sell medication paid for by TennCare. Ms. Odom is charged with two counts of TennCare fraud, which is a class E felony, one count of unlawful delivery of the painkiller hydrocodone, which is a class C felony, and one count of unlawfully altering, destroying or concealing a substance known to be evidence, also a class C Felony. She is accused of filling prescriptions with the intent of unlawfully distributing the medication, while using TennCare to pay for the medications at the pharmacy. Along with hydrocodone, the painkiller butalbital, and gabapentin, which is an anti-epileptic medication, were also involved. She shared the medication with Mooneyham, and was subsequently charged with two counts of unlawfully altering, destroying or concealing a substance known to be evidence in an investigation, which is a class C felony.
In a separate case, Angela Trisler is charged with one count of selling methadone, which is used to treat heroin addiction by causing a similar effect but with less addicting qualities. She was also charged with two counts of selling dihydrocodeine, a painkiller similar to codeine, one count of TennCare fraud and one count of unlawfully keeping or maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, building or other structure for the purpose of keeping or selling controlled substances. The dihydrocodeine was paid for by TennCare. The charges against Trisler are all felonies.
“Local police across Tennessee have been incredibly eager to join with us in these investigations, in an effort to get drug users and especially their suppliers off the street,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “When prescription drugs are involved, local police are aggressive in working with us to determine if TennCare paid the pharmacy, the prescribing doctor, or both.”
District Attorney William C. Whitesell will prosecute the cases. If convicted, all three could serve up to fifteen years for the class C felonies, up to four years for each class D felony charge and up to two years for the TennCare fraud charges.
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."