|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Knox County woman is charged with using TennCare to pay for a fraudulent prescription.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with the assistance of the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Vera Natascha Milligan, 36, of Knoxville. She is accused of taking an altered prescription for a controlled substance to a pharmacy, using TennCare public healthcare insurance benefits to pay for the drug. Milligan faces one count of TennCare fraud, one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud and two counts of forgery.
“We have a zero tolerance for people who use TennCare to support prescription drug abuse,” Inspector General Deborah Y. Faulkner said. “We count on agencies like the Knox County Sheriff to help us in cracking down on these crimes in our communities.”
TennCare fraud is a Class E felony carrying a sentence of up to two years in prison, and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud is a Class D felony, punishable by two to four years per charge in prison. District Attorney General Randall Nichols is prosecuting.
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $3.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $173 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, nearly 1,500 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."