|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
FIVE SEQUATCHIE COUNTY RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH TENNCARE DRUG FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Five people in Sequatchie County are charged with TennCare fraud in arrests that stem from an undercover investigation of people selling prescription drugs.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), Tennessee Meth Task Force, Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Office, and Dunlap Police worked undercover together for the past year.
“Local law enforcement officials have been aggressive in helping us in this war against TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “By pooling our resources with local officials, we are all covering more ground and making progress in tackling the prescription drug fraud problem, especially when people try to use public dollars to finance it.”
The five charged in connection with TennCare fraud are:
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor will be prosecuting these cases.
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."