|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MONDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2010
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Humphreys County woman is charged with TennCare fraud for using the program to obtain prescription drugs which she later sold.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) today announced the arrest of Mary J. Johnson, 52 of Waverly. The arrest was the result of a joint effort with the OIG, the Humphrey’s County Sheriff’s Office and the Waverly Police Department.
Johnson was indicted for one count of TennCare fraud for presenting a prescription for the painkiller Hydrocodone, using TennCare to pay for the prescription, concealing that she intended to sell a portion of it.
“We are working with municipal and county police officers across the state,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “Local police are clearly committed to eliminating prescription drug abuse, and we are doing our part to stop the abuse of the TennCare program.”
If convicted, Johnson would face a two year prison sentence. District Attorney Dan M. Alsobrooks 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 1,240 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."