|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
FIVE DAVIDSON COUNTY RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Five Davidson County residents are charged with TennCare fraud involving prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) and the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department today announced the arrests:
“Prescription drugs have become the drugs of choice among people looking to ‘get high,’” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “However, we’re committed to focusing on this activity in TennCare to stop it and prevent it.”
District Attorney Victor S. Johnson, III will prosecute. If convicted, Kaplinger could serve up to four years for identity theft, which is a class D felony. All five of the suspects could serve up to four years for convictions of obtaining controlled substances by fraud, which are class D felonies; and, the penalty for each TennCare fraud and prescription forgery conviction is two years.
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."