|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 9, 2009
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER615.532.8560 (OFFICE)615.202.0701 (CELL)
WILSON COUNTY WOMAN CHARGED WITH TENNCARE FRAUD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Wilson County woman has been charged with TennCare fraud in Rutherford County for trying to use TennCare to pay for a fraudulent painkiller prescription.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced that 18-year old Brandi D. Kirby has been charged with TennCare fraud and attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud for trying to use TennCare to pay for an altered prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone. This arrest was assisted by the Smyrna and Lavergne Police Departments.
“This case was brought to our attention by an alert and quick-acting pharmacist,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Pharmacies across the state have become even more aware of the different ways people try to get drugs like narcotics for recreation or resale.”
TennCare fraud is a class E felony, carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison per charge. Attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud is a class D felony that carries a sentence of up to four years in prison. District Attorney General William Whitesell, Jr. 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 1,000 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."